TeksMed – Building Effective Management Strategies for Employees Dealing with PTSD
Preventing and managing physical work-related injuries, in many ways, is much simpler than injuries related to mental health. Yet, in particular industries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very real risk and employers have been widely encouraged to deploy effective management strategies. In recent years, the threat of PTSD has been recognized by legislators and compensation laws have been passed to help sufferers cope with PTSD.
Although the legislation varies somewhat from province to province, in most cases, it is assumed that PTSD is work-related if certain conditions are met. Due to the complex and often long-term nature of psychological injuries, PTSD compensation claims have the potential to be quite costly to employers. Even if an employee does not feel the need to take time off work, the resulting fear and anxiety can greatly affect their productivity.
The good news is that there are effective ways that employers can be proactive in helping employees who are suffering from PTSD.
Back to Work Strategies for Those With Mental Health Related Illness
When an employee with PTSD returns to work, the first step an employer is encouraged to take is to establish an open dialogue. Communication is a key variable in creating a safe and successful work environment. For example, the employee should feel comfortable enough to express triggers and barriers to their employer. Specific items that should be addressed in this dialogue include any job duties that may be problematic, limitations of the employee and any environmental factors or work structure that need to be addressed. Environmental factors may include lighting, noise, security features, etc.
An employer may be required to use various types of accommodation strategies to assist the employee in coping efficiently. These strategies may include implementing a “buddy system”, allowing extended breaks, or providing leave for the employee to obtain professional counselling.
Helping to Prevent PTSD in the Workplace
Common professions that one might expect to find a high incidence of PTSD include first responders, and security guards, but they can occur anywhere that a traumatic event is possible (i.e. a construction site accident or a convenience store robbery).
Employers can help reduce incidences through:
- Creating awareness about potential job hazards and ensuring that employees feel safe in letting their employers know about personal barriers;
- Providing support such as ensuring employees have access to EAP, information about counselling, and workers’ compensation;
- Reducing the stigma surrounding mental health challenges by providing education and enforcing policies; and
- Providing training – e.g. psychological first aid training.
Get started today
While the steps to effectively managing mental health issues in the workplace sound simple on the surface, it can be difficult for employers and employees to take those first steps to establish the right practices, protocols and culture. It is often necessary to bring in the help of experts.
At TeksMed, we specialize in building rapport between employers and employees and are well experienced in helping companies effectively implement measures to create a safe, succesfull and efficient work atmosphere. Our expedited healthcare program aids employees in acquiring the physical and psychological help they need in a timely manner, ultimately providing effective return to work solutions.
If you are ready to start building effective mental health management strategies in your workplace, then contact TeksMed today for a consultation.