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PTSD AND STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE

If You Have Stress in the Workplace, Read This …

 

I watched Jay Shetty’s video If Work Stresses You Out Watch This. It carried a message so strong it inspired me to write this post about PTSD and Stress in the Workplace.

First, let’s establish some of the video’s work stats.

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  • 35% of us say that the #1 cause for stress in the workplace is our bosses and managers
  • 76% of us say that they take home that stress and it negatively impacts our personal life and personal relationships
  • 66% of us say that we have lost sleep because of the stress
  • 16% of us quit our jobs because of stress

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Reference:  Jay Shetty‘s If Work Stresses You Out Watch This

With the leadership mentoring work I do, these findings are no surprise. In fact, they validate my approach to working with people with workplace challenges.

The challenge is far deeper than conversations of stress, and stress in the workplace. The challenges of stress reach far beyond the workplace. While there is plenty of discussion to counter there is little to no action taken to solve it.

Still, every year we become more aware of stress in the workplace and its impact on the workplace environment as a whole and each individual.

Jay Shetty’s video gives us a pretty good picture of what that looks like.

As leaders and managers of organizations, we are still not doing enough to arm our employees with the tools, tips, and resources they require to manage stress in their personal and professional lives, including stress created by some of their managers, supervisors, and leaders.

Unaddressed, stress in the workplace can grow into something far more serious:  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

 Unaddressed Stress in the Workplace Can Grow into Something Far More Serious:  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is PTSD and what can cause it?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Reference: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

First considered a soldier’s condition, PTSD is not restricted to war or a difficult home life, PTSD can also be experienced in the workplace. In fact, PTSD thrives in workplaces that do not address it, impacting the professional and personal life of an employee and those around them.

 How many people does PTSD impact on an annual basis?

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  • 7 to 8% of population with have PTSD
  • 8 Million Adults annually are impacted by PTSD
  • 3 to 15% of young female children will experience PTSD
  • 1 to 6% of young male children will experience PTSD
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Reference: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_children_teens.asp

 

There are many traumatic events that can lead to development of PTSD in our personal and professional lives, including the catalysts of; fire, natural disaster, mugging, robbery, plane crash, torture, kidnapping, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack, and other extreme or life-threatening events.

Six common traumatic events that contribute to the development of PTSD include:

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  • serious accidents
  •  natural disasters such as bushfires, floods and earthquakes
  • living in a war zone, as a victim of war or a soldier
  • sexual assault or threatened sexual assault
  • serious physical assault
  • seeing people hurt or killed

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Reference:  https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/causes-of-ptsd

Note, while not making the top 6 list, workplace PTSD is thriving unchecked in many workplaces.

Workplace PTSD can be caused by, but is not limited to:

Bad bosses, bullying, and berating, over-working, threatening, and withholding information as examples. Bottom line – trauma is trauma no matter how big or small.

Reference: https://medium.com/the-establishment/when-your-workplace-gives-you-ptsd-7b48c8f0af84

PTSD is not recognized by many until it is too late. We  need to work on REMOVING all PTSD in the workplace resulting in a better culture, more productivity, employers increased bottom line, happier customers and employees are engaged, empowered and accountable resulting in a positive workplace culture benefiting all.

 

Mentoring as Part of the Support System for Those Experiencing PTSD

Currently, the International Mentoring Community (IMC) and I are exploring the role of the mentor as of the support structure for employees in the workplace experiencing PTSD.

One of the key elements of this journey is ensuring that proper professional resources are made available for someone dealing with PTSD. The mentor’s role is that of active listening and ensuring their mentee has access to those resources. In future articles I will discuss new requirements and techniques for mentors to provide and support their mentees. We will provide insight into questions such as:

Question1:  What are the characteristics of an extraordinary mentor who is on a journey with their mentee experiencing PTSD?

Question2:  What are the tools, tips, and resources to fully support the mentee to process and move past their trauma?

Question3:  What are the characteristics of an extraordinary mentor who provides support to other mentors also working with mentees experiencing PTSD?

With deeper, richer meaningful conversations coupled with the answers to these questions the role of the extraordinary mentor will become clear.

The primary objective will be to provide support to the professional well-being of employees.

This will also include proper training of managers/supervisors/leaders and bosses in the symptoms and causes of PTSD and how mentoring is key.

3 requirements to keep the conversation going and structure the action to take.

  • Continue the dialogue and develop action plans that support a healing environment.
  • Follow through on the recommendations that will surface from these action plans.
  • Ensure that mentoring and extraordinary mentors are part of the solution.

Are you part of the conversation?

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Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

To contact Doug: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence