Psychosocial health is a term used to describes the crucial connection between mental and physical wellbeing. Researchers have analysed existing literature on this topic, to learn more about how policy and practice can be shaped to enhance awareness of this connection across Victorian workplaces.

New approaches to the promotion of workplace health (conceptual models) are constantly being developed worldwide.

In 2010, WorkSafe requested that ISCRR provide information on current developments in this area, to specifically inform their policy and practice around the promotion of psychosocial health in Victorian workplaces.

Led by Professor Niki Ellis, a research team responded to this request by scanning current writing on the subject, seeking advice from an international panel of experts, and holding two consultative workshops with WorkSafe staff.

The team's primary objective was to evaluate newly emerging conceptual models around psychosocial health in the workplace, so that WorkSafe could then adapt or adopt these models to suit their needs.

Status

This project concluded with a detailed report, illustrating the diverse range of health promotion programs and related concepts currently available in this area.

The report confirms that health promotion is most effective when it is delivered through integrated conceptual models.

Integrated conceptual models are defined by their broad approach of considering all the mental, physical, environmental and organisational factors that impact upon a worker. These approaches are often complemented by changes in policy, and can involve support from other sectors through collaborative partnerships.

The report also flags the need for WorkSafe to consider the implications of such a model on their compensation schemes - as the model's broad approach to prevention would be at odds with the organisation's more narrow definition of what is considered compensable.