People who are out of work are at greater risk of:
- Poor physical health and wellbeing
- Poor mental health and wellbeing
- Mental health problems
- Suicide and suicide attempts
- Social isolation and loss of self confidence
Work provides income, but it is also important to a person's mental wellbeing and self-belief. The roles people play in their family and in society are partly shaped by their work.
The longer someone stays off work, the less likely they are to return. Even after a few weeks their chances of returning are reduced. Many people who have been off work for a few years acknowledge that if they had known the path ahead they would have been much more proactive about their situation.
Being off work with an injury is difficult for most people. Aside from worries about health and problems coping with pain, there are the official or bureaucratic processes that need to be worked through and understood.
Work is an important goal in itself. It is an essential part of your recovery process. Try to get the support you need with the return to work process.
This substantial review of a large body of literature provides solid evidence that work is generally good for people's health and well-being. Remaining off work is a hazard for medium to long-term health. It carries an increased risk of health problems and increased risk of death from a variety of conditions. A few weeks of sick leave may not seem a major problem, but we know that the longer someone stays off work the less likely they are to successfully return.
This review provides good evidence that treating practitioners should give clear advice to patients. Many patients do not see the path ahead, and the authors of this paper call on treating practitioners to focus on the return to work as an important outcome
Work is important for people's health and well-being. A return to work is most likely to be successful when the employee is engaged, and feels like a productive member of the team.
Re-engaging people improves their well-being, and benefits the company.
Mental health problems, depression, suicide and attempted suicide, heart disease, cancers, and overall rates of illness and death increase when people remain out of work.
Return to work is most successful when all parties work together towards a common goal. Clear communication and support for people with an injury is an important aspect of helping them back to work.
Source: The Foundation for Research into Injury and Illness in the Workplace Inc (ResWorks)