Work Stress on the Increase
15 October 2012 at 9:33 am
Mental stress and bullying claims at work are on the increase, according to the Federal Government agency for safety and compensation for Australian workers, ComCare.
ComCare says that mental stress claims in the workplace have increased by 23% since 2008, while bullying claims increased from 32% in 2008/09 to 44% in 2009-10.
ComCare’s chief executive, Paul O’Connor says that one of the reasons for the increasing number of mental health claims is dreading coming to work and stressing out at the prospect of another day of unhappiness in the workplace.
O’Connor believes it is important that employees have a sense of purpose at work.
“Without that sense of purpose, without feeling wanted at work and part of a team, anyone can feel depressed and unhappy," he said.
“Every one of us needs the reassurance that their work is making a difference. People are naturally motivated by progress, a sense of being part of a team that looks out for each other is so important.”
O’Connor said while he is concerned at the rising number of mental health claims and the reported cases of bullying, the emphasis needs to be on the positive.
“That emphasis needs to be on good work. Good Work is work that is well matched to people’s skills and aspirations.
“It can be an environment of trust and respect where individuals make a difference providing them with a sense of social connection and support.
“A good job can mean a good life. Good work is vital for sound mental health and well-being,” he said.
O’Connor said there is also a big link between physical and mental health.
He said while exercise is important, surveys have revealed that it is often a simple conversation at work that relieves stress.
“Connecting with colleagues at work is so important. Talking to each other, even about stressful situations, can often relieve stress and over time can turn a ‘bad’ job into a good one.