Commonwealth Bank unveils program to combat workplace depression

13 October 2006

The Commonwealth Bank has announced a partnership with beyondblue: the national depression initiative to understand the causes, impacts and treatments for depression, coinciding with National Mental Health Week.

beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance use disorders in Australia.

"The Commonwealth Bank is committed to the health and well being of our staff and is proud to offer our employees access to information and advice about depression and how to identify it or seek treatment for it," said Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Ralph Norris.

beyondblue Deputy CEO, Dr Nicole Highet said depression is a national problem, not just a Commonwealth Bank problem.

"We applaud the Commonwealth Bank for actively addressing and taking a leadership position on understanding depression and how it can impact on their staff."

Mr Norris said, "We are pleased to provide the resources and information for our staff and to be recognised as leading edge within the finance sector for this type of initiative."

"The program will ultimately lead to positive outcomes across the Bank - first and foremost for our people - in addition to increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and reduced direct and indirect costs."

The beyondblue Depression in the Workplace program will be offered to staff with people management responsibilities.

The Workplace programs include a two-hour and three-hour session covering:

  • Understanding depression and anxiety
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Prevalence of depression in the community and the workplace
  • Impact of depression and anxiety
  • Treatments for depression
  • Managing depression in the workplace – including case studies.

For more information on depression, anxiety and related substance use disorders go to or call the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636



Bryan Fitzgerald
General Manager, Media and Issues Management
Commonwealth Bank
Phone: (02) 9378 2663
Mob: 0414 789 649


Notes to Editors:

  • Depression in the workplace accounts for three to four days off work per month for each person experiencing it.
  • About six million work days are lost each year in Australia due to depression.
  • Australian research shows that each employee with depressive symptoms costs their employer $9,650 per annum in lost productivity.
  • The finance sector is among the top three business sectors with the highest prevalence of depressive symptoms at 7.9 percent.
  • All beyondblue accredited trainers are trained mental health professionals, predominantly psychologists, with extensive clinical and training experience. This ensures the quality and consistency of the presentation, that the presenter is knowledgeable about the subject matter and all questions raised by attendees are responded to professionally.

o Source: beyondblue