Published November 2, 2018
The reality about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and its impact in the workplace can no longer be ignored. People from all categories of professionals have been battling this life challenge for the longest time now. The search for an ultimate Cure for PTSD is still on. Various studies have been conducted to ascertain the main causes of the same. Over the years, most employers have concentrated their focus on just the physical aspect of their employees’ health. However, with the increased cases of suicide and incapacitation from mental disorders, there is a need for a re-focus.
Many organizations have now awakened to focus on a more holistic health care for their workers. This is because, whereas physical well-being is of paramount importance, they cannot ignore the need for a mentally stable workforce. More often than not, the employees who suffer breakdown are not the physically ill but rather the mentally and psychologically challenged ones. Some of the commonly affected categories of professionals include:
While on their line of duty, these people experience and witness a lot of traumatic events especially when they go to war. The battlefield itself is a stress zone not to mention the rigorous war against terrorism. Most of the time they witness their colleagues being killed and undergoing other unpleasant experiences. Even though they are usually trained on how to go about such situations when the reality hits them stress is inevitable. The human mind stores a lot of images and a replay of the bad ones can cause depression.
Most doctors and nurses who work in the health centers cannot avoid the common ugly sights. Whether it is accident casualties, chronically ill patients and even patients losing their lives right in front of them, the trauma is real. Their call of duty does not allow them to leave any patient unattended just because the situation is unbearable. At the end of the day, they absorb all these images into their minds and most of them end up with PTSD.
Another group of people who have to endure nightmares is the firefighters. They are usually faced with the reality of fierce flames wiping out people’s lives and property. It gets worse when they find out that they are helpless about a particular situation or they can only do so little. Some even sustain physical injuries and end up being incapacitated.
Since they specialize in stabilizing critically ill patients, they will mostly be found in scenes of accidents. Some of these accidents can get ugly especially where many vehicles are involved or where the impact was major. As they try their best to save lives, some of them are later diagnosed with PTSD due to the many stressful events that they witness.
Apart from above-discussed categories, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can get hold of anyone in the workplace regardless of what they do. This is because life is not short of stressful events and anyone can experience them. However, employers have an obligation to provide holistic health care to their workers in the following ways:
Sometimes PTSD patients lack a strong support system in the workplace not because their colleagues are heartless, but because they are unaware. It is possible to assume that all is well with someone and not pay attention to details. Employers can organize training for their workers on how to identify the symptoms and help those who are suffering.
This could mean providing a medical cover that takes care of mental health in addition to the regular physical health. Also, employers can have contact therapists who can attend to those who are bordering depression or are already diagnosed with PTSD. It is also possible to have company health centers which offer holistic care to employees. Hiring professional caregivers is not too much to invest in the people who sustain the cash flows.
Some employees who suffer from Post-Trauma Stress Disorder take too long to recover simply because they do not know how to do self-care. Also, the feeling that their employers do not care as much may also discourage them from fighting their way out of depression. Having a strong support from their employers will make the battle worth fighting.
Regardless of the kind of profession that one chooses, PTSD can set in any time. This, therefore, means that both employers and workers should be vigilant enough. This way they can see it coming and fight it off before it gets its way.