Illness, trauma or bereavement can profoundly affect a person’s professional life, manifesting in various ways that can hinder their performance and engagement at work. When professionals experience traumatic events, such as accidents, violence, or sudden losses, their ability to concentrate, make decisions, and interact with colleagues can be significantly impaired.

The impact of trauma on an individual’s mental health often includes symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, which can spill over into their professional environment. This underscores the necessity for workplaces to recognise and address the psychological needs of their employees, ensuring that support mechanisms are readily available and accessible.

During illness, either mental or physical, trauma or bereavement, RedArc found that having someone to talk to outside of immediate family and friends was the aspect most valued (77%) by those who sought their professional support.1

Other valued aspects included being made aware of everything that was available to the individual (64%) such as the employee benefits they’re entitled to, and being able to access the right therapy or service in an acceptable timescale (62%).

Christine Husbands, commercial director, RedArc said:

When people talk to family and friends it can be complicated, and the person suffering is often unable to fully share how they are feeling because they feel the need to protect the listener. Being able to talk openly is invaluable as well as therapeutic, when the listener is not only an impartial professional, but also clinically trained.

Christine Husbands, commercial director, RedArc

The importance of clinical expertise

With it becoming increasingly difficult to access primary care services, many people have realised just how important it is to speak to a clinical expert when they have physical and mental health issues. As important as family and friends are for social support, health issues often require clinical expertise where professionals can provide support tailored to specific needs and circumstances, as well as identify and provide further support and therapies if they are required.

Christine Husbands concluded: 

We know that talking is good for people, it can bring huge comfort to an individual, but it is vital that the person doing the listening is the right person. Well-meaning family and friends can sometimes do more damage than good,  they are unlikely to have expertise on specific health or medical conditions, people need to talk to the right professional to get advice and support relevant to them.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.