A Recent Study
The far-reaching impact of an injury was recently highlighted by the National Accident Helpline who conducted a survey of over 1000 people along with interviews with healthcare specialists to explore the repercussions of suffering an accidental injury as part of The Make It Right Campaign. The survey results from the no win no fee specialists revealed some insightful information, particularly relating to employment and mental health.
Returning to Work
As many as 63% of those that had suffered an accidental injury stated that the prospect of returning to work after the injury was a concern, as well as 57% stating that they were worried about losing their job together even if the accident was not their fault. It is likely that this is because the injury is likely to affect their performance with 63% worried about their performance and 60% stating that they had been unable to perform certain tasks.
Mental Health Repercussions
Suffering an accidental injury can be stressful enough, but if people are then concerned about their job, financial security along with the impact on their personal life, it is no surprise that mental health issues are prevalent amongst those that have suffered an injury. A staggering 72% of respondents stated that they had suffered a mental health issue as a result of the accident, including:
- Stress (35%)
- Anxiety (34%)
- Sleep deprivation (21%)
- Depression (18%)
Of course, suffering a mental health issue will only make the recovery period much more challenging and 62% of those that had experienced mental health issues stated that their recovery had taken longer than expected. With such serious consequences, many people find it difficult to reach out but this will only make matters worse - as said my NHS Mental Health Nurse Ray Maramba:
“Don’t bottle it up. Be open and honest about things. People are there to help, there is no need to struggle on your own.”
How to Cope
So, how can an individual cope with the mental health impact and the worries about returning to work? As said by Maramba, reaching out is important whether this is to friends, family or healthcare professionals as people will want to help. Accidents can take their toll and strain relationships, but communication is vital and there will always be people who will want to help.
In terms of returning to work, again communication is key and you need to have open dialogue with your employer. You can agree a timetable for returning to work and easing your way back in will be a smart way to manage and could even help with mental health to return to a sense of normality. Additionally, necessary adjustments can be made to help you to carry out your role with confidence while you recover and/or in the long-term. Of course, you should never feel rushed back into work and you might find that seeking compensation can alleviate some of the financial concerns in relation to time off work.
The study clearly shows that is not just the physical side of the injury that people have to deal with after an accident and returning to work and mental health issues are major concerns which should always be carefully considered when an individual has been involved in an accident.