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Managers urged to support workers with psychological injuries

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Managers can find it difficult to know how to take the right kind of early action to control the risk of psychological injuries in their workplace, but WorkCover Queensland have released some helpful tips when it comes to supporting workers.

“While prevention is always better than cure in terms of fostering a positive work environment, it is important to also know how to talk to a worker who you notice might be struggling,” a WorkCover statement said.

They provided some practical tips from beyondblue to give managers confidence in their interactions with workers.

Creating a positive work environment

  • Provide constructive feedback to staff about their performance
  • Reward and celebrate achievements
  • Be approachable
  • Manage conflict quickly and effectively
  • Talk to your staff, particularly about changes that affect them
  • Don’t tolerate harassment and bullying
  • Be aware of the impact of unrealistic workloads and deadlines

What do you do if you notice someone is struggling? 

Watch for signs: It’s not your role to diagnose a mental health problem, but you can access expert information via beyondblue to know what to look for. Signs a person could be experiencing a mental health problem can include agitation, confusion, and generally not interacting with others in their usual manner.

Find an opportunity to speak to the person in private: Respect the person’s privacy and that they might be feeling particularly sensitive and vulnerable.

Talk to them about changes in their behaviour: It is important to be clear that you are coming from a place of concern for their wellbeing, rather than their job performance.

Encourage the person to seek help: beyondblue have a range of resources on their website and you can also encourage the person to talk to their GP about how they’re feeling.

Continue to support them: Reassure your worker that their job is safe and work with them to develop a work plan they feel comfortable with. It might involve temporarily modifying duties that could be aggravating their stress or anxiety.

Managers can access free, quick e-learning modules on the following topics on beyondblue’s website.

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AMSJ Nov 2021