In the contemporary workspace, the importance of mental wellbeing is increasingly recognised as pivotal for both individual and organisational health. Altius Group, a leader in integrated workplace health and wellbeing, is at the forefront of this paradigm, providing holistic health solutions that encapsulate addressing mental health as part of physical recovery in occupational rehabilitation.
Understanding Occupational Rehabilitation and Its Importance
What is Occupational Rehabilitation? Defining the Process
The Role of Occupational Rehabilitation Providers in Return-to-Work Plans
The Intersection of Mental Health and Occupational Rehabilitation
Identifying Mental Health Challenges in Occupational Rehabilitation
Challenges When Returning to the Same Employer
Jackson Foley, a Vocational Consultant and Provisional Psychologist at Altius Group, observes that a common hurdle is the perceived lack of employer support.
“The biggest thing I tend to see when workers return to their pre-injury role is feeling a lack of support from their employers to aid this return in a safe and durable manner,” Mr Foley shared.
This perception could lead to feelings of overwhelm and manifest in different ways.
He further explained: “Often, workers are quite anxious to return to the work environment for the first time since submission of their claim, and this tends to manifest as heightened stress and worry, nervousness that their injury will exacerbate, and sometimes avoidant behaviours.”
A collaborative approach, where employers actively engage with occupational rehabilitation professionals and the worker, is crucial. Such an approach nurtures the worker's mental health and strengthens their productivity and interpersonal dynamics at work.
Challenges When Return to The Pre-Injury Employer Isn't Feasible
“I see a lot of workers tend to experience nervousness, worry, and a ‘fear of the unknown’ when commencing new employment, particularly if it is within an area vastly different to their pre-injury role,” Mr Foley noted.
Here, the role of supportive employers is paramount.
Mr Foley encourages employers “to be aware of the above challenges and ensure support is provided for their transition to this new work environment.”
From seeking and getting a new job to ensuring a smooth transition, all in concert with occupational rehabilitation can mitigate the risk of prolonged recovery, symptom escalation, and potential re-injury.
Strategies Employed by Occupational Rehabilitation Consultants at Altius Group
1. Tailoring Return-to-Work Plans for Mental Health Considerations
Guided by the belief that work and independence are integral to wellbeing, Altius Group's Rehabilitation Services are designed to ensure a recovery and a pathway to sustained wellbeing and independence.
2. Wellbeing Coaching and Program Delivery
- Customised Wellbeing Solutions: Services are tailored based on a deep understanding of the specific wellbeing challenges faced by the employee.
- Flexible Delivery: Support is provided in a manner that seamlessly fits into the business operations, whether face-to-face or virtually.
- AltiusLife Digital Platform*: Employees can gain access to a wealth of resources and support through the innovative AltiusLife platform, further enriching their wellbeing journey. *(This is only available if you are an Altius Group customer.)
3. Revive Your Mindset Program
The Revive Your Mindset Program stands as a testament to Altius Group's dedication to breaking down psychological barriers and fostering a positive, resilient mindset. This program is particularly geared towards individuals detached from their jobs due to long-term recovery or significant changes in their work lives. Delivered by seasoned professionals from diverse backgrounds, including occupational consultants and motivational coaches, the program is structured around impactful modules that drive meaningful change.
Key elements of the Revive Your Mindset Program include:
- Psychological Barrier Breakdown: Addressing recurring negative thought patterns and attitudes to foster a positive and proactive mindset.
- Resilience Building: Empowering participants to build resilience, equipping them to handle recovery challenges and job search rejections effectively.
- Vocational Goal Setting: Encouraging participants to set and pursue vocational goals, paving the way for a successful return to meaningful work.
- Evidence-Based Learning: The program is grounded in extensive theoretical evidence and adult learning principles, ensuring participants learn and apply healthy thinking patterns in their personal and professional lives.