How Occupational Health Services Can Boost Mental Health

Posted on: 30 March 2022

Workplace stress is a condition that affects millions of people. In some cases, it can result in mental health conditions that require long-term management. Some people may also find that existing mental health conditions or events outside of their career make it difficult for them to manage their mental health at work. Fortunately, there are ways that occupational health and rehabilitation services can play a role.

Reducing Burnout

Although the term "burnout" isn't an official diagnosis, it is an experience that worsens employees' mental health. When someone works in an environment that's physically and emotionally draining for too long, they may experience the signs of burnout. For example, they may become very critical of themselves, dread work and feel exhausted. An occupational health team can identify areas for employers to address to reduce burnout. Such areas include reducing an employee's hours and finding areas for them to get a break away from work during the day.

Identifying Triggers

There are certain triggers that can make a person's mental health worse at work. Some of these triggers may affect the workplace as a whole. For example, concerns about job security or a lack of training. When occupational health services identify such triggers, they can feed relevant information back to employers so that they have the chance to address them. Employees can also experience individual triggers too. For example, if they have experienced trauma in a particular environment, then they may suffer signs of PTSD when they're exposed to that environment. When such incidents arise, an occupational health team can help to distribute the employee's duties so they're no longer exposed to that trauma.

Modifying Environments

Simple modifications to a working environment can improve an employee's mental health. For example, employees who don't see much sunlight may be more likely to suffer from depression. In response, an occupational health specialist may recommend moving them to an office with natural lighting. Or if that isn't possible, they can make recommendations for natural light simulators. Another example is employees not having a quiet space to go to when making confidential calls or carrying out complex tasks. By introducing such spaces, occupational health services can lessen the stresses those employees experience and reduce the burden of work on their mental health.

Overall, an occupational health service can introduce changes that benefit the workplace as a whole and those who need individual adjustments. With periodic occupational health reviews, employers can safeguard their workforce's mental health.

Contact occupational health and rehabilitation services near you to learn more.