Structural v Individual approaches to preventing psychological harm persist

At the end of September 2018 the Australian Psychological Society held its 2018 Congress.  As conferences do, various media statements are released to generate interest in the speakers.  One caught the attention of this blog.  It was released on September 25 2018, and was called:

“Resilience isn’t enough to combat the effects of burnout, world renowned psychology expert says”

This sounded like it may look closely at the prevention of harm and SafetyAtWorkBlog was able to interview that world-renowned psychology expert,

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When guidance is unhelpful

Some organisations struggle to understand the prevention of harm.  In September 2018 the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) released its “People Managers’ Guide to Mental Health“. The guide is intended to address

“…the whole lifecycle of employment, from recruitment, through keeping people well and managing a disability or ill health at work, to supporting people to return to work after a period of absence.” (page 3)

It includes the prevention of psychological harm but in words and phrases that are very unhelpful. 

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The US discovers job strain and suicide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently written about suicide prevention and the organisational structures that can contribute to poor mental health.  The prominence of the CDC should result in a spate of media reports about this NIOSH Science Blog article.

Evidence of the link between the two has been building in Australia for some time through the work of several researchers. The CDC/NIOSH draws on

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The sexual harassment you walk past is the sexual harassment you accept

Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, has released the findings of the Commission’s latest survey on sexual harassment in workplaces.  It is an important analysis of an improving dataset that should make actions to prevent sexual harassment more effective.

The statistical report is separate from the Commission’s National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces and does not emphasise the role of harm prevention but it does contain references to prevention that are worth considering.

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An iron fist in a velvet glove to HR over psych claims

Dr Rebecca Michalak has just published an extraordinary article calling on the Human Resources profession and many others to take a good, hard look at how they treat workers who may have been subjected to psychological pressures at work.

Human Resources personnel could feel particularly hard done by but Michalak stresses that there are many players in the process of creating and managing psychologically healthy workplace and of not adequately managing psychologically injured workers.  She makes her proposition clear up front:

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