According to Safe Work Australia – each year, more than 7000 Australians are compensated for work-associated mental health conditions, also known as psychological injuries.

These mental health issues account for around 6% of all worker’s compensation claims, to the tune of about $540 million in payouts.

In a workplace, all sorts of things can affect an employee’s mental health:

  • Work in a remote area
  • Excessively high or excessively low job demand
  • Insufficient clarity about the role
  • Poor support
  • Lack of appropriate organisational justice
  • Poor environmental conditions
  • Traumatic or violent events
  • Unsatisfactory workplace relationships
  • Bad management of organisational change

High levels of long-term stress in a workplace can cause physical or psychological injury which in turn can lead to unplanned absences (including sick leave), reduced work quality(translating to poorer product quality), increased turnover of staff and employee withdrawal and presenteeism.

Bullying scenarios offer a prime example of how a person can be physically present at work but ‘not all there’ due to the ongoing harassment. The bully is less productive too, with more energy spent on negative emotions and devious schemes.


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Jessica Hickman is a professional member of these associations: