Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, Governor-General David Hurley said in Wollongong on Friday - and as a former soldier he'd know all about it.
Mr Hurley spoke at the Mental Health in the Workplace lunch at the Novotel Northbeach.
"Mental illness is in our community, but it's nothing to be ashamed of," Mr Hurley told the crowd.
He also spoke about his personal experiences in the defence forces - a workplace which can challenge mental health.
"In my military career, over the last 10-15 years with veterans coming back from overseas service, operational service, we are plagued with what comes with operational service," he said.
"There is anxiety, depression, PTSD. There's a range of mental illnesses that we as an organisation are responsible for, and we as a nation are responsible for."
The event was a fundraiser for One Door Mental Health, the new name for the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW.
Chair of the One Door Mental Health Illawarra Committee, Professor Frank Deane said the event was raising funds for the One Door Illawarra Clubhouse in Wollongong, and a support program for Illawarra teenagers caring for parents or family members with mental illness.
Keynote speaker was National Mental Health Commission chair Lucy Brogden.
Mrs Brogden said the fundraiser was also focused on engaging the Illawarra's business community on how to create and sustain mentally healthy workplaces.
"Today's presentation is about what it means to have a mentally healthy workplace, and what organisations can do at an organisational level, team leader level and individual level to create that psychological safety in the workplace.
"It's a great opportunity to have 350-plus business leaders from this area to have a conversation about mentally healthy workplaces."
Mrs Brogden said creating mentally healthy workplaces was more complex than hosting a few office activities. "One of tags I say is hashtag, 'this is more than yoga and fruit bowls at work'.
"This is actually getting down to good job and work design.
"Looking at and understanding what are the physical needs we need to do a job, what are the psychological issues associated with that job, how much control do I have over my job, what are the demands... And as organisations, how do we tailor the work to be as safe as we can for people?
"And we're also having conversations about reducing stigma in the workplace, so if you are struggling with something, it's a safe place to share, 'I may not be at the top of my game at the moment because I've got this issue going on'."