Beyondblue releases advice to assist retrenched workers

The non-profit mental health awareness group beyondblue has released a booklet offering advice to retrenched workers in industries such as manufacturing.

“During this time of belt-tightening, especially in government, manufacturing, media and retail sectors, people may feel their life is unravelling,” said Kate Carnell AO, the organisation’s CEO.

“Distress is a common and natural response to unexpected events that involve significant loss or change. This distress, if not managed properly, can become a major risk factor for depression.”

The booklet covers issues including identifying depression and anxiety, accessing Centrelink benefits, finding employment and managing redundancy payouts.

Beyondblue’s announcement comes the day after the Prime Minister’s manufacturing taskforce suggested that 85,600 manufacturing jobs could be lost in the next five years unless productivity was lifted.

 The taskforce was set up last year in response to auto industry job losses. The manufacturing sector has been squeezed by factors such as the high dollar, labour costs and slow productivity growth.

Earlier this month it was announced that Coburg’s APV Automotive Components factory would close down.

The administrator announced that 87 workers would lose their jobs after it was unable to find a buyer.

AMWU spokesman Dave Smith said the industry is stressed, and all that could be done would be done to assist workers re-tool elsewhere. “We’ll put in a lot of support for them to help them transition,” he told the ABC. “Many of them will need to move into other industries.”