WorkSafe Tasmania

WorkSafe Tasmania

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Notify WorkSafe Call 1300 366 322
Notify WorkSafe Call 1300 366 322

Recovery from PTSD and return to work

Recovery from PTSD and return to work

Recovery from PTSD and return to work

Recovery from PTSD is a gradual, ongoing process. The goal of PTSD treatment is to restore a sense of safety and calm, a trust in self, and a sense of feeling whole again.

People who have benefited from PTSD treatment are able to come to a deep knowing that the traumatic event is over — it feels like a thing of the past. This allows them to carry out their everyday activities, work and relationships with a feeling of regained freedom and hope.

With the right workplace supports and what is termed ‘reasonable accommodations’, returning to your usual work after treatment for PTSD is entirely possible for most people.

Occupational recovery should be considered from the very beginning of treatment. There should be an expectation that workers with PTSD can gain benefits from appropriate treatment.

While a period away from usual duties may be required, doctors should consider the possibility of adjusted duties and partial return to work as a way of promoting recovery and reducing the risk of long-term sickness absence.

So when a worker who has had PTSD returns to work, their return to work plan should include check-ins with their:

  • supervisor or manager to see how the adjustment to their work role is going, and
  • treating health professionals for symptom monitoring and support for sustaining their recovering.

Depending on the nature of the trauma exposure and PTSD, some workers may need to resume on a period of alternate duties because direct re-exposure to particular events may be overly distressing.

In general, most workers can safely return to usual duties once their symptoms have improved, even while still undertaking treatment (including medication).


A Guide to Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation in Tasmania (PDF, 1.0 MB)

Managing workplace injuries in Tasmania - A handbook for primary treating medical practitioners (PDF, 497.5 KB)

Injury management: making it work (PDF, 171.0 KB)

Guideline for preparing return to work plans and injury management plans (PDF, 249.8 KB)

Taking action: A best practice framework for the management of psychological claims in the Australian workers’ compensation sector

Return to main PTSD page