When you think of injury management in the workplace, you probably think of a physical injury that has been sustained in the course of performing your duties. The ideal outcome after such an occurrence is for the injury to be treated as necessary before you return to work. But injury management in the workplace can also address a scenario where your mental health has been affected by your work, whether the catalyst was a one-off event or a succession of incidents that have led to some form of trauma or distress. If you feel that your mental health has been compromised by your job, what is the best course of action in terms of injury management?
Reporting the Issue
You will need to report the issue. For larger companies and organisations, there might be a predetermined process for reporting. Speak to your supervisor or human resources department for clarification. For small businesses where no official policy exists, it might be a case of having a confidential conversation with your manager.
There will be certain prerequisites to be fulfilled if leave of absence with compensation is required. The requirements vary depending on where in Australia you live and work, so contact your applicable Department of Workplace Health and Safety for further information. You might need to speak to a counsellor in order to address the issues you're facing and how they have become detrimental to your mental health, therefore impeding your ability to carry out your workplace duties.
Addressing the Issue
Counselling can be extremely beneficial when it comes to determining the best course of action to move forward. There are a number of issues that will be addressed during this form of injury management.
Was the issue caused by a one-off event that has resulted in trauma or distress? If so, with appropriate treatment and sufficient recovery time, will you be able to return to your workplace in your former capacity?
If not, will you be able to return to your workplace in a different capacity in which it's unlikely that you will be subjected to the same type (or comparable) trauma or distress?
If the trauma or distress is the result of a succession events which is likely to reoccur if you returned to the same workplace, will you need to find alternative, more suitable employment after appropriate treatment and sufficient recovery time?
Workplace injury management is not limited to physical injuries. If your mental health has been negatively affected by your work, it's important that you take the necessary action for your own wellbeing.