Employers are getting more concerned about the rising cases of psychiatric injury. While businesses strive to provide a stress-free workplace that is healthy, it’s important that they consider conducting a workplace mental health training occasionally.

Psychiatric Injury

What exactly is Psychological Injury?

Cognitive or emotional symptoms of psychological injury affect a person’s life, altering their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders are examples of psychological injuries, also referred to as mental injuries.

Environmental, organisational, and human variables can contribute to workplace psychiatric injury.

Poor levels of support from superiors, ongoing change, and high levels of stress are some organisational factors. Individual personality traits and life events can influence how likely someone is to incur psychological harm. And poor psychological safety costs Australian firms $6 billion annually.

Is Psychological Injury a reaction to unexpected change?

Secondary psychological damage is emotional harm brought on by first psychological harm. An employee may have secondary issues such as depression, melancholy, rage, poor sleep, and decreased drive and involvement after experiencing a physical injury. Pain that doesn’t go away, taking medication, and being cut off from friends and co-workers can all exacerbate this psychological harm.

Causes of Psychiatric Injury and How to Overcome Them

The first step in preventing psychological harm is being aware of its causes. Costs associated with lost time and productivity as well as the possibility of workers’ compensation claims can make psychological ailments expensive.

The five most typical stressors at work that affect employees psychologically are listed below:

Job Instability

Employees’ emotional and physical health may suffer as a result of the prospect of organisational restructuring, mergers, and redundancies. According to one study, persistent job insecurity is a more powerful predictor of bad health than smoking or high blood pressure due to stress. There is a constant risk of being fired without cause or notice for a rising segment of the workforce who work on a casual or contract basis.

Some folks are concerned about how they will pay for their home or find another job if their contract is terminated. They can be curious as to how their manager views their work and whether the company intends to keep them on in the long run. Years may pass, at which time the ongoing tension has a severe psychological impact.

Contractors might not have the same access to an Employee Assistance Program as full-time workers – which could make them less inclined to seek professional psychiatric or psychological assistance (EAP). Some people cannot afford to take time off of work to seek therapy. There could be concerns about confidentiality.

Since everyone has a different perspective, many workers may not necessarily be at risk for psychological harm from job uncertainty. Some people are content to forego job stability in exchange for the additional perks of informal employment, such as greater hourly wages and penalty rates. If their current job ends, they are confident they will find another one and won’t suffer financially.

How to Avoid: Look for work that gives more security than your current one if you deal with job uncertainty. There is no such thing as a job for life, but full-time employment can be a better fit for you than part-time employment.

Heavy workload

When times are tough financially, employees are urged to perform more. When employees depart the company or take time off, they are not replaced, and the rest of the team is left to pick up the slack. The additional labour may result in work-related stress, which may lead to sleep problems, depression, anxiety, and poor performance.

Some businesses set unrealistic goals, which makes employees anxious about their own performance and feel inadequate. People may have a level of occupational stress that prevents them from switching off and relaxing after work due to the pressure and hectic pace.

How to Avoid: If the amount of work you are expected to perform is stressing you out to the point where it’s affecting your mental health, talk to your manager about it or ask a colleague to take on a duty you can’t do.

Harassment and bullying

Bullying can affect both adults in the office and students in the schoolyard. Bullying at work can be social, psychological, verbal, or violent. Bullying can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including nasty remarks, exclusion, sexual harassment, mind games, assigning you worthless duties, initiations, threats, pushing, shoving, and trip-and-fall incidents. Bullying can occur in any type of workplace and can be perpetrated by a manager, a co-worker, or a group of people.

Bullying can harm a person’s psychological well-being, make them stressed, anxious, and depressed, make them dread going to work, sap their confidence, and prevent them from finding fulfillment at work.

Compensation claims for psychological damage brought on by workplace bullying can be expensive for businesses. The litigation can be expensive and drag on for years.

How to Avoid: Bullying and harassment-free workplaces are a legal requirement for all businesses. For your employer to intervene in situations where you feel threatened or intimidated, you should report them.

Managing Difficult Clients

Even after the issue has been fixed and the irate client has left, employees who have to deal with tough customers may experience stress. More harm may result from a worker’s continued response to the occurrence than the incident itself. Due to their inability to resolve the issue and soothe the consumer, people may experience worry and stress. They are concerned about how they will respond to the following circumstance.

Similar to job instability, a stressful aspect of a job for one employee may be a rewarding one for another. Not every employee experiences stress because of challenging clients.

Some workers are willing to admit that not every problem can be solved. They are aware that they give their jobs their all and that an irate client is swiftly forgotten. They emphasise their successful contact with clients. What could be psychologically harmful to one employee might not matter to another.

How to Avoid: Request training from your employer to conduct mental health workshops on how to deal with tough or angry customers if doing so causes you stress or anxiety. Knowing how to manage these circumstances and practicing your responses might give you the assurance you need to tackle the next occasion.

Shift Work

The effects of night and shift work on the body have long been researched. It is known that working after hours increases the risk for a variety of illnesses, including cancer and weariness. Recent research has concentrated on the psychological impacts of shift work, and the results indicate that these effects can be just as detrimental to mental health as they are to physical health.

Shift workers who have their circadian rhythms disturbed experience higher levels of stress and unhappiness. A relationship between shift work and low job satisfaction was found among nurses in a British study. The physical and psychological effects of stress were more noticeable in nurses who worked night shifts, and they reported lower levels of satisfaction.

The pressure of skipping out on social occasions and family obligations can add to the stress of working shifts.

How to Avoid: If working shifts is giving you stress, talk to your manager about cutting back on your night shifts. You may also want to think about switching to a position that doesn’t require as many shifts.

Request for a Workplace Mental Health Training with My Mindspeak!

When compared to physical injuries, psychological ailments frequently require people to take longer to return to work. When addressing mental health issues, early intervention is crucial. Alternative employment and conflict resolution are two strategies for lowering the possibility of long-term psychological harm.

My Mindspeak can help you or your organisation maintain a safe workplace that considers your mental health. With our mental health workshops, we can provide great support to employees experiencing psychiatric injury, so they can bounce back and perform their duties with excellence.

Let us help you create a secure environment for your organisation where mental health is prioritised. Contact us at 08 83447936 or send us an email to [email protected].

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