Workplace Blues

How your workplace can trigger a mental health condition. 

Whilst work is good for our mental health, when we are feeling appreciated, challenged, and in control, it can have a totally opposite effect if the conditions are unbearable.

What is healthy and what is not?

A workplace environment can be vastly different from one person to the next. You might be a nurse working a night shift, a receptionist on a lonely desk, a CEO in a huge company or a mechanic working FIFO. No matter what your job might be, work-related stress can affect anyone at any level and it can have a dramatic impact.

So, what happens if your place of work is not healthy? Is it disorganised, stressful, demeaning or unrewarding? These factors can play a significant role in the development of mental health. Let’s explore some of the most prevalent mental health issues in the workplace.

The work factors linked to mental health:


It might be the physical surroundings (lighting, noise, isolation, pollution etc..) or it might be the social environment (work colleagues, overbearing boss etc..)

Reward / Self Worth

It might be salary, benefits package or more often it is linked to the esteem in which the person feels they are held by managers, colleagues, suppliers and clients. Equally, it may be that the person lacks a sense of job security.


It may be that a persons’ workload, role title, salary, or promotion opportunities, or a perceived lack of consultation in relation to changes or key decisions leads them to feel like they are not being treated fairly.


It may be that they feel they receive inadequate support, experience conflict or poor management, or worse, suffer harassment and/or bullying.


The level of influence over, or the ability to adjust one’s work.


It may be that the workload is greater than the person can reasonably manage.

Equally, it may be that the workload is significantly less than the person can cope with.

Role Conflict and Bullying

It may be that the person experiences incompatible demands from managers or colleagues (role conflict) or that they are unsure of what is expected of them. Bullying occurs when repeated and unreasonable behaviour is directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.


The ethos and culture of an organisation have been associated with mental health issues. It may be that the leadership and management approach, including how work is planned, prioritised, and communicated. Equally, it may be that conflicting demands of home and work are not supported.

Work factor source: Mental Health in the Workplace.

If you are interested in learning more about a career in Human Resources, or Mental Health Care speak to the team at TrainSmart Australia. We offer state-of-the-art qualifications so you can be an expert in your field in as little as 6 to 12 months!

For more information on mental health please see the list of support groups below:

beyondblue / Blue Knot Foundation HelplineLifeline / MensLine Australia

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