Returning to work or study after being suicidal, attempting suicide or bereaved by suicide is a good sign that you are getting back on track, but it can be difficult to explain why you have been away.
If you don’t have close relationships with the people you work or study with you may not want to talk about what has happened; you might want to keep your personal and work/study life separate. However, by letting someone know (such as managers, supervisors, study coordinators), you can receive additional support.
It may be useful to discuss the possibility of:
- flexible days or times in the initial return to work or study
- the potential need to have time off to attend appointments
- initial reduced work or study load while you transition back
- flexible deadlines for work or study tasks
- identifying who else can support you in the work or study setting.
In the video below, blueVoices member Shane talks about how support from his employer and colleagues made a huge impact on his recovery, and how it helped him feel supported to return to work. You can find more information and videos of people sharing their personal stories about returning to work following a traumatic experience on the Heads Up website.
Under equal opportunity laws, workplaces and teaching institutions (such as universities and TAFE) are required to make adjustments to support people who have been or are physically or mentally unwell. Before returning to either work or study, you may wish to get advice, or find out about your rights and/or what supports are available from services such as:
- your workplace’s Human Resources department
- the Employee Assistance Program provider or Student Counselling Service
- the Australian Human Rights Commission
- the Fair Work Ombudsman.