A clinical psychologist from Wesley Hospital has identified low resilience as a major factor impacting the mental and physical wellbeing of employees. He is calling for more awareness around the need to build personal resilience, starting with Wesley Mission’s resilience training, which is launching to the general public in a full-day workshop on 26 March.
Resilience – the ability to bounce back in the face of challenges – is crucial to combating stress, which recent studies have revealed as the most significant psychological hazard in the workplace.
Dr John Kearney, director of psychological services at Wesley Hospital in Kogarah, said he has seen an increase in the number of people feeling overwhelmed by workplace stress, taking time off as a result.
“In our connected, always-on age, it is increasingly difficult to separate work and personal life. There is often a reluctance to share feelings of stress or not being able to cope in the workplace, because of the stigma attached,” Dr Kearney said.
“While moderate stress can be a productive and motivating factor in the workplace, too much of it can risk burnout. This can have serious consequences, such as reduced productivity and performance, emotional exhaustion, a loss of empathy and increased absenteeism.”
With chronic forms of workplace stress shown to increase a person’s risk of developing severe mental health conditions, such as depression, Dr Kearney recommends self-care strategies to build resilience. “Focusing on your own self-care, such as minimising or eliminating alcohol and caffeine intake, and taking time away from work to build good relationships with family and friends, is crucial to building personal resilience. In turn, these strategies can improve morale, develop mental agility, and encourage employees to ask for help before they feel they need to take time off.”