Importance of Mental Health over the Holiday Season



As the end of the year draws closer, workers are finding it harder to maintain composure and keep spirits high due to the heightened busy period.

Staff morale and mental health are crucial all year round, but with the increasing workload that comes with the end of the year, many feel the pain of stress, overexertion and exhaustion.

The extra work can take a toll, not only physically but mentally, with research suggesting nearly 4 million Australians used their sick leave for mental health and stress related issues in 2016.

Education delegate of 7 years, Emma, said she has used sick leave for stress related issues.

“I’ve spoken up and taken time off for stress, and I have no shame in that.

It’s important to realise you’re at breaking point before you break, because once you break it’s harder to come back from.” She said.

Members from hospitality will be working around the clock during Christmas hours, and giving up their family time on public holidays and weekends to make ends meet, as well as seeking permanency in their Christmas jobs.

Health members know all too well that as the end of the year traditionally brings a higher amount of hospital visits and accidents, the extra workload and trauma can cause a lot of stress.

Education members will be fighting for permanency, with many members going into the end of the year unsure whether they will be returning to their job the next year, which can cause anxiety.

Workers in Manufacturing and are will be working around the clock and feeling pressure in finding the time for their own families.

When people get stressed and overworked, inevitably staff morale is lowered.

A Health delegate of 20 years, who has preferred not to be named, said staff morale can be a major issue in workplaces.

“When people are stressed out it has a flow on affect and can cause major issues with staff morale,” He said.

Staff morale is important in maintaining a productive workplace, with many people claiming to work harder and faster when they are in a good mood.

Members are encouraged to look after themselves and to speak up if they are feeling stressed because to feel safe and happy in your work environment is a right, and is something members from all industries strive to achieve through EBAs and negotiations.

Members are encouraged to talk to someone they feel comfortable with, to call United Voice on 08 9388 5400 if they are feeling stressed and overworked.