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Early intervention for workers adjusting to injury

Best practice

It’s common for injured workers to struggle while adjusting to lifestyle changes caused by a work-related injury. They may feel worthless, misunderstood, lonely and frustrated as they adapt to changes in their ability to perform their usual roles at work and home. Workers may also feel frustrated by the speed or progress of their recovery.

Regularly check in with your worker and keep an eye out for signs they might need support. Take proactive and prompt action if you feel your worker is having difficulty adjusting to their injury. This can include consulting with them and their treatment providers and encouraging the worker to seek further psychosocial support.

Reassure your worker they are still capable of performing a valuable and meaningful role at work and home as they adjust to their injury.

Why this is important

Knowing the signs a worker is struggling to adapt to their injury and intervening early may prevent a worker progressing to an adjustment disorder.

Your toolkit

Read more about adjustment to injury counselling.

In the Preventing secondary psychological injury webinar, psychiatrist Dr Curtis Gray explores how to minimise poor recovery and secondary injury after a claim for workers’ compensation is made, and the factors that allow some people to recover from physical and psychological injuries as expected, while others do not.

The Mentally healthy workplace toolkit (PDF, 11.4 MB) provides practical tools and resources that employers, managers and leaders can use to create and maintain mentally healthy workplaces.