What To Say To Doctor To Get Stress Leave Australia?

Written by Priyanka Agarwal, Writer at Hola Health
Medically Reviewed by Amira Shah, MA in Couselling Psychology, Registered Psychotherapist, B.Ed with Guidance & Councelling B.Arts

Work stress is a natural human reaction that many of us undergo when we come across challenges in our work. It is usually triggered by day-to-day occurrences such as tight deadlines, issues with colleagues or bosses, or an overwhelming workload. While work stress is normal, it can become overwhelming and impact both our mental and physical well-being. When the baggage of stress becomes exorbitant, seeking support is essential. If you feel that stress is affecting your work-life balance, it may be beneficial to consider taking a stress leave. However, you may wonder how to proceed with this process and what to communicate to your doctor to obtain stress leave in Australia. Continue reading to find answers to these questions.

What Is Medical Leave Due to Mental Stress?

Medical leave due to mental stress or stress leave is when an individual takes a short-term break from work or other responsibilities due to mental health problems caused by stress. Although it is usually approved by a doctor, getting a paid stress leave at work requires a medical certificate that evaluates your illness, duration, and the course of treatment to be followed. The duration of the medical leave typically depends on the seriousness of the condition and the advice of the doctors.

Despite having diverse rules and regulations, all workplaces keep the information about their employee’s mental health conditions private and confidential. The main purpose of a stress leave is to give that much-needed break and space to the employees so that they can concentrate more effectively and work well.

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What Are the Symptoms of Stress?

You ought to take a stress leave at work if you feel that your personal life or mental health is negatively affected. Every individual experiences stress in different ways. Here are a few symptoms of stress that you should be on the lookout for.

1. Physical symptoms

Prolonged exposure to stress can give rise to physical symptoms like:

2. Social withdrawal

 It’s important to note that while social withdrawal can be a symptom of stress, it’s not necessarily indicative of stress in all cases. Some individuals may withdraw from social situations for various reasons unrelated to stress. Therefore, social withdrawal should be considered with other symptoms when assessing stress levels.

3. Reliance on substances

During times of stress, some individuals may turn to harmful substances like drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. While it may provide a temporary sense of relief, it can eventually lead to undesirable consequences.

4. Mood swings

Stress can make a person feel extremely irritable.  A stressed-out individual can easily get frustrated and may act impulsively across situations. Frequent mood swings are a common symptom that you may experience when stressed.

5. Increase in Anxiety

While feeling anxious about the future and minor concerns can be part of stress, it’s essential to differentiate between average levels of anxiety and excessive worrying or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Experiencing overwhelming anxiety that interferes with daily functioning may require intervention from a mental health professional.

6. Lack of motivation

Persistent stress can lead to low energy levels due to exhaustion. This tiredness can make you feel less motivated and hence, yield less productivity.

7. Impaired concentration

Stress can make it difficult for you to concentrate on the task at hand. It is common to get distracted easily during stress. 

What to Say to a Doctor to Get Stress Leave in Australia?

How do you request stress leave from work in Australia?

There are a few processes involved in requesting stress leave from work. It is crucial to complete them all to adhere to the company’s regulations. Here is a basic guide that briefly explains the processes for obtaining stress leave in Australia.

1. Initiate Consultation with Healthcare Professionals

2. Obtaining Medical Certificate

Upon evaluation, your healthcare provider will issue a medical certificate digitally or in person. This document will outline your condition, the recommended duration of absence, and any specific treatment advice.

3. Notification to Employer

Provide your employer with the medical certificate promptly. Familiarize yourself with your company’s policies regarding notification procedures for absences due to illness.

4. Communication with Employer

Maintain open communication with your employer regarding your progress and expected return date. If your circumstances change or you require an extension of your leave, notify your employer promptly. If necessary, provide updated medical documentation from your healthcare provider.

5. Privacy Considerations

Safeguard your privacy by ensuring only necessary information is shared with your employer. Specific details about your condition should remain confidential between you and your healthcare provider.

6. Utilization of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

Take advantage of any employee assistance programs offered by your employer. These programs may provide additional resources, counselling services, or support to individuals dealing with mental health issues or stress-related illnesses during their recovery period.

7. Review of Workplace Regulations

Stay informed about changes in workplace regulations and policies. Regularly review the terms outlined in your employment contract and corporate policies to ensure compliance with company guidelines regarding leave and illness reporting.

By following these steps being aware of your rights, and being responsible

Quick Tips to Manage Stress at Work

Here are a few pointers to help you avoid stress at work.

  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Practice mindfulness and indulge in meditation.
  • Do not be afraid to say no to tasks that seem to be a burden. 
  • Reach out to healthcare professionals.
  • Take short breaks in between work.
  • Keep your workspace neat.
  • Set a boundary between personal and work life.
  • Prioritise tasks one at a time. 
  • Engage with your colleagues often.
  • Maintain constant communication with your seniors.

Always keep in mind that seeking help is normal and acceptable. Doing little things goes a long way, so try to discover what works well for you and stay healthy and strong.

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Disclaimer

This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.