Olympic champion Hayley Lewis announced as Mental Health Ambassador

Published Monday, 10 October, 2022 at 03:53 PM

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

Hayley Lewis speaking at a World Mental Health Day breakfast after being named Queensland Mental Health Ambassador by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ).
Hayley Lewis speaking at a World Mental Health Day breakfast after being named Queensland Mental Health Ambassador by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ).

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has named former swimming champion Hayley Lewis as their Queensland Mental Health Ambassador on World Mental Health Day.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the Olympic medallist would draw on her personal experience of navigating through difficult times as an athlete, a mother, a sister, a high-profile personality and a small business owner.

“I’m very excited that Hayley will be promoting the benefits of mentally healthy workplaces and reaffirming our strong commitment to improving the mental health of all Queenslanders,” Ms Grace said.

“Evidence shows that mentally healthy workplaces lead to increased performance and greater employee retention.

“Mentally healthy workplaces are also more likely to meet vital work health and safety obligations.

A mother of two, Ms Lewis is passionate about psychological health, and with the help of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, is encouraging workers and employers to make sure they’re in the right headspace.

"Mental health impacts everything and everyone,” Ms Lewis said.

“Sadly, often we don't realise just how bad it really is until we suffer or experience a tragedy.

“We know that workers thrive in well-designed work that is healthy and safe, but we also know that poor work environments create needless risks which impact on businesses’ productivity, efficiency and ability to be competitive.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was close to delivering on an election promise, finalising new regulations and a landmark code of practice that will be a huge leap forward in protecting the health and wellbeing of workers.

“Our nation-leading laws give employers a clear duty of care to ensure the health and safety of workers both from a physical and psychological perspective, and they’re about to get even better,” Ms Grace said.

“The Managing the Risk of Psychosocial Hazards at Work Code of Practice will ensure risks from psychosocial hazards are considered and managed in workplaces while providing practical guidance on how this can be done.

“These include more well-known psychosocial hazards such as exposure to traumatic events, work-related violence and aggression, bullying, and harassment including sexual harassment.

“They also include cumulative hazards such as lack of job control, role clarity, poor organisational change management, remote or isolated work, and poor environmental conditions.”

Queensland will be one of the first jurisdictions in Australia to introduce a legally enforceable code of practice alongside regulations which directly address psychosocial hazards at work.

In addition to the breakfast forum, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is hosting events throughout Mental Health Week, including livestreams on issues such as burnout, diversity and inclusion, design and regulation and suicide prevention for at-risk industries.

More details about Mental Health Week can be found online at worksafe.qld.gov.au.


Media contacts:

Minister Grace: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237

Office of Industrial Relations: 0478 332 200 or oirmedia@oir.qld.gov.au