- work and working environments can impact on your physical and mental wellbeing
- you are legally entitled to receive mental health support at work
- there are mental health support services available.
Workplace stress is the physical, mental and emotional response to workplace demands, environments or work-related stressors.
Workplace stress can sometimes show as changes to:
- work productivity
- activity levels
- sleep and eating patterns
- use of alcohol or drugs
- mood, particularly increased worry, anxiety or fear about work.
Common causes of workplace stress:
- experiencing bullying, harassment, or workplace discrimination
- workload or demands
- unsupportive colleagues
- lack of workplace supports and adjustments.
Managing workplace stress
This often involves looking after yourself and making changes to your current work arrangements.
Heads Up has more information about workplace mental health
Business Vic provides information about managing workplace stress.
Talking to your supervisor
If you haven't already, talking to your supervisor about your mental health or workplace stress might be helpful.
It may seem difficult, particularly if you don't have a good relationship with them. But it is an opportunity that may lead to you getting help at work.
See our article on workplace adjustments and supports for more ideas.
If you decide to talk to your supervisor, it is important to remember:
- you are not obliged to disclose every detail
- what you say is protected under Australian privacy laws
- you have legal rights and obligations including protection against discrimination, demotion or dismissal. BeyondBlue has more information about your legal rights and obligations
- under Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws employers have a duty to provide reasonable and necessary mental health workplace supports and accommodations.
Talking to your GP
Talking to your GP can also be a helpful step.
Your GP can provide you with various support options, like a referral to a mental health service using a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP). This gives you with reduced cost sessions with a psychologist.
See the SANE article on how to talk to your GP about mental health.
Mental health support and services
In Australia, the following support services, are available 24 hours a day, 7 days and week.
They can provide free and confidential counselling services to you via phone call, text or web chat:
Call: 1300 22 46 36
Call: 1800 55 1800
Call: 13 11 14
Text: 0477 13 11 14
Live chat: www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat
Since some staff resigned from her workplace, Cassie’s workload has increased. She is now struggling to manage her work responsibilities. She is constantly feeling burnt out, stressed and is finding it harder to focus on her work. Cassie talks to her boss about this. Her boss offers to temporarily allocate some of her responsibilities to another staff member who currently is managing less projects.