Understanding the Health Effects of Workplace Discrimination

Understanding the Health Effects of Workplace Discrimination


Despite the governments best efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination from Australian culture and society, it still remains. In the workplace, things like racial, gender and religious discrimination are common, especially against minority groups.

Because of this, thousands of people across the country suffer some form of mental illness every year. Even low-level workplace discrimination can have a cumulative effect which can impact absolutely anyone.

As you can imagine, it’s important that we’re able to identify and deal with these impacts before they become too severe. Below, we’ve outlined a few strategies to help you with office sickness, regardless of your exact situation.

Pay Careful Attention to Your Mental State

For starters, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re aware of your mental state and any lasting irregularities. This is true regardless of whether or not you’re being discriminated against.

The key to maintaining mental health is to be mindful of the following:

  • Any loss of motivation or lack of energy that could signal the onset of depression, anxiety or any other illness.
  • Lower self-confidence, including in social settings where you would have been comfortable in the past.
  • A desire to stay home from work. Everyone loves a day off from time to time, but if you find yourself having trouble getting out of bed for work every day, you could have a problem.
  • Any increase in alcohol and/or cigarette consumption.

If you identify these or any other mental health warning signs, be sure to speak with a psychologist or other medical professional as soon as possible.

Be Positive and Aware of Issues in the Workplace

In most cases, workplace harassment and bullying are caused by people who get a kick out of being cruel. Having a positive state of mind and ensuring you don’t let people’s comments affect you visibly is a great way to reduce and, in many cases, eliminate any issues.

Similarly, be proactive. If someone is giving you a hard time, let them know that their actions aren’t acceptable. Tell them that you will be taking further action if they don’t stop, and inform your employer if you feel the need.

Seek Support Where Necessary

Unfortunately, workplace harassment can continue for some time before it’s resolved. Because of this, it’s a good idea to build a strong support network to aid you in difficult times.

For starters, try and connect with your colleagues, especially any you think may be suffering similarly to you. Find a friend or family member who you can share your concerns with, and think carefully about seeing a psychologist if your mind feels a little cluttered.

Final Word

Understanding the mental health issues caused by workplace discrimination and harassment can take time, but it really shouldn’t be a complicated issue. Pay careful attention to your own mental state, be positive in the face of discrimination and seek support where necessary.

In severe cases, remember that you have the right to seek legal advice and support if you feel your employer isn’t doing the right thing.