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Mental Health can't wait

we need action now!

this world mental health day, we demand mental health action for aged care workers and older australians!

With the coronavirus pandemic and the worsening understaffing crisis in aged care, the demands on Australia’s aged care workforce have never been greater. 

From unreasonable workloads, long or irregular working hours, absence of worker voice or control, and bullying and harassment – aged care workers are pushed to their breaking point and have been experiencing enormous amounts of work-related stress and fatigue not for months, but years.

Mental health is not only the fastest growing challenge to the safety of working people in their workplaces, but especially those in frontline healthcare are under immense pressure and dealing with significant levels of mental ill-health (Australian Unions, 2021).


1,226 reports of unpaid overtime, 2,089 reports of missed breaks, 1,381 reports of staff experiencing abuse, 2,927 reports of stressed staff, and 1,983 reports of distressed resident/s

With a direct link between a healthy workforce and quality care, the mental health and wellbeing of older Australians in aged care has increasingly been neglected due to lack of care time. Visitor restrictions have also increased isolation of residents from families.

This World Mental Health Day, we’re sharing aged care workers’ stories of psychological pain, disturbing amounts of stress and unsafe working environments. We demand the Government finally addresses the crisis and unacceptable working conditions in aged care impacting on the mental health and wellbeing of workers and older Australians! 

A secure, respected, well-paid job with time to care is the best prevention

While more needs to be done to ensure the workforce receives appropriate mental health support, preventative action is what’s really needed. The best psychological protection for aged care workers is a secure, well-paid job with the time to care. Currently, workers are poorly paid, juggling multiple casual jobs and have little job security with this pressure increasingly taking a toll on workers’ mental health

A responsible Government would act to keep both aged care workers and older Australians in aged care safe

This World Mental Health Day, we demand Scott Morrison to finally implement changes to aged care and:

  • address the understaffing crisis and regulate funding so it goes to care, not profits
  • implement a care-time guarantee to allow workers enough time to give older Australians the safety, dignity and respect they deserve
  • build a secure workforce in which workers have enough hours to live on
  • value the hard work and skills of aged care workers by providing a decent wage & recognition of skills
  • ensure aged care workers are respected in the workplace 
The mental health of aged care workers and older Australians should be a priority to ensure the short- and long-term future of the aged care sector, by attracting and retaining workers. We need to take care of the workers that take care of us when we age. 

How Can you show support?

Throughout World Mental Health Day, we are sharing quotes of aged care workers, older Australians in aged care and their families about their mental health struggles as a result of the aged care crisis. Read and re-tweet them here!

Sign your support for our campaign to change aged care here! 

Help put a spotlight on the wellbeing of aged care workers and older Australians in aged care – share this blog post on Facebook.