The Importance of Early Intervention and Its Role in Recovery

Experiencing a mental health setback in the workplace can be challenging to navigate. Research shows that those people who go a long time between developing poor mental health and receiving appropriate treatment and support have reduced recovery and return to work outcomes compared to those who access early intervention support. When left untreated, these mental health challenges can lead to other mental health illnesses, impair recovery outcomes and reduce an employee’s capacity to remain in the workplace.

Early intervention in the workplace is intervening early on to better support and minimise the impact of emerging symptoms of poor mental health or injury/illness of employees. By doing so, organisations can often prevent the lodgement of psychological injury claims from occurring altogether and instead offer specialist support in an individual’s recovery. By engaging a psychological rehabilitation provider like Resilia, a coordinated approach to recovery sees individuals return to work earlier or remain at work during recovery, contributing to more sustainable wellbeing outcomes and preventing relapse.

If a psychological injury claim does get lodged, early intervention still remains the most beneficial approach for both the injured worker and the workplace. According to the Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association, a study on the effect of early intervention on return to work found that those who underwent early intervention were 50% more likely to return to work at 12 months. In addition to this, of those cases Resilia has worked with between 2012-2022, the gap between occurrence of injury and referral highlights that those individuals who had a referral in the same year as injury had 65% successful RTW outcomes, as opposed to 26.1% where referral was provided 1-2 years after injury occurrence (Centre for Corporate Health). Indisputably, it’s evident that the importance of early targeted intervention is critical to achieving positive return-to-work outcomes for employees.

The benefits of early intervention for individuals and workplaces couldn’t be more clear. For the individual it’s:

  • The ability to seek timely treatment and support
  • Being able to build capacity to remain at work
  • Better recovery outcomes
  • The increase in likelihood of returning to work quicker
  • Improved RTW outcomes
  • The perception of a positive response to the injury by the insurer, employer and rehab provider

For the workplace, these benefits translate into:

  • Minimised impact and duration of employee injury / illness
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased likelihood of positive and durable RTW for workers

So, how confident are you in your workplace’s early intervention strategies? What framework of support do you have in place to bridge the gap between short-term support offered through your Employee Assistance Program and someone lodging a psychological injury claim? It’s this gap that many organisations are yet to consider as part of their mental health and employee wellbeing strategy. For more information on providing a safety-net of support for your people no matter where they fall on the wellbeing continuum, contact Resilia and discuss how corporate recovery services can reduce lodgements of psychological injury claims.