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“Back-to-work blues’’ normal, but get help if they persist

AS COFFS Coast residents return to work this month after enjoying a summer break, beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO has reassured people that it's normal to experience the "back-to-work blues" for a few days.

"It is not uncommon for people to feel a bit 'down' or 'flat' for a little while after they return from a great break spent among family and friends," she said.

"Enjoying a relaxing holiday one minute, then suddenly returning to a regimented and sometimes stressful working environment can be tough.

"But you should adjust back into the normal swing of things within about a week.

"If you don‟t, it may mean there is an underlying problem which needs attention.

"For example, if you are feeling panicked, moody, irritable or sad about being at work and these feelings persist, it may be a sign of depression or anxiety."

Anyone experiencing these symptoms for more than two weeks should seek help from their GP or call the beyondblue info line on 1300 22 4636 to find out where they can get help in their area.

Ms Carnell said a new year should inspire people to improve their lives and if work is causing significant stress, it could be affecting their health.

"If you're unhappy with your job, think about what you can do differently," she said.

"This may be as simple as talking to your manager, thinking about your work-life balance or getting more exercise.

"Recent research conducted by beyondblue and The Australia Institute shows Australians feel more uncomfortable discussing their own or other people‟s mental health with their managers than any other workplace issue.

"About half of the workers surveyed said they would feel uncomfortable raising the topic of mental health and wellbeing.

"But people shouldn't be afraid to raise these issues in the workplace.

"It is against the law for people to discriminate against anyone who is mentally unwell.

"It is in the best interests of both bosses and their employees to try to deal with these issues.

"Stress in the workplace can lead to depression and anxiety which means more sick days and reduced productivity.

"Having a happy and healthy workforce benefits both the employees and their bosses."

Ms Carnell added that beyondblue has a range of new online e-learning workplace programs available here to help people understand and tackle depression and anxiety at work.

They focus on how to have a conversation about mental health in the workplace.

Topics:  beyondblue, mental heatlh


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