Suffering an injury at work can be a traumatic, painful and frightening experience. While workers’ compensation can provide significant help to Georgia workers and their families after an injury, workers often still face a long and stressful healing process.
But according to a recent study, workers who suffer severe workplace injuries also face serious risks involving their mental health.
A new study raises concern about injured workers’ mental health
It is not easy to discuss mental health issues. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma that surrounds anything related to mental illness or mental health. This is possibly one of the reasons that injured workers did not speak up about any concerns in the past.
But not discussing these issues could put injured workers in danger today as well. According to MarketWatch, a new study indicates that injuries that keep employees out of work for longer than a week cause them to face a higher risk of:
- Death by suicide
- Opioid addiction or drug-related deaths
Women, in particular, are affected by these concerns. The study found that women were 92% more likely to die by suicide and 193% more likely to suffer with drug addictions or drug-related deaths after a workplace injury.
Opioids are a primary concern
Nearly everyone knows about the opioid crisis impacting the United States. This could be a significant contributing factor that puts injured workers at risk.
Many work injuries, from broken bones to burns, require surgery. Even if they do not, most physicians prescribe pain killers to help individuals heal. These medicines are designed to help injured individuals, but they could be what is putting them in danger.
What can workers do?
Healing after an injury involves one’s mental health too. After all, our physical health can often have a direct impact on our mental health.
So, both injured individuals and their close loved ones should take the time to understand that the trauma of a work injury can commonly cause:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxious thoughts or an anxiety disorder
- Symptoms or diagnoses of depression
It might be difficult to talk about things like mental health, drug addiction and suicide. But individuals must address these things as soon as possible. That way, they can experience a holistic healing process that also protects their future after a work injury.