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Workplace Stress & Your Mental Health: What are the options?



This article is brought to you by Slater and Gordon.

By Rachel Hughes - Associate Lawyer.

What is Workplace Stress?  

Workplace stress is a psychological or psychiatric injury and often characterised by symptoms such as anxiety, mood disorders, and mild to severe depression. In extreme cases, more serious mental health issues like suicidal ideation and acquired brain injuries can be triggered. Causes of workplace stress include stressful work practices, direct or indirect bullying and harassment by co-workers or management, or as a consequence of a physical injury. 

It is important that if you are experiencing symptoms of stress as a result of work, you should seek medical assistance from your general practitioner as soon as possible. 

Under the Victorian worker’s compensation system, even where your work injury is purely psychological, you have rights and entitlements.



What should I do if I am suffering workplace stress?

If you believe you are suffering workplace stress it is imperative that you report your stress to your employer as soon as you recognise your symptoms. This way you put your employer immediately on notice of your psychological condition.

If you don’t put your employer on notice within a reasonable time of becoming aware of your workplace stress, this can place significant limitations on your rights and entitlements under Victoria’s workers compensation laws.

It is also imperative that you speak to your GP about your workplace stress as soon as possible. Your GP can provide you with a referral to psychiatrist or psychologist or implement a Mental Health Plan to treat your condition. 

You should also lodge a WorkCover claim as soon as possible. If you believe you suffer workplace stress and wish to lodge a claim but do not know how to commence the claims process, you can contact Slater and Gordon or HACSU for advice, or click here for further information  


What if my claim is rejected?

If your WorkCover claim is rejected, or if you have not received a response to your claim from the WorkCover insurer, you should contact HACSU within 60 days of receiving the WorkCover insurer’s decision in writing to arrange a referral with Slater and Gordon. We have highly experienced WorkCover lawyers, located at 17 offices across Victoria. 

As a client of Slater and Gordon, you will also have access to our free in-house social work service (click here) who can put you in touch with relevant organisations to discuss financial or mental health assistance upon referral from our legal teams.



About the Author: Rachel Hughes is an Associate Lawyer of Slater and Gordon’s Workers Compensation team in Dandenong and has worked for the firm since 2014. Rachel is passionate about helping people access their rights and entitlements under the work cover scheme and is driven to achieving the best outcomes for her clients. Rachel also enjoys spending quality time with her family, loves dogs, and enjoys sports including long distance running, netball and martial arts.   

Slater and Gordon have proudly served HACSU and its members for many years, and as a HACSU member, we provide discounted legal services and benefits in the following areas:

  • Workers Compensation
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
  • Asbestos Claims
  • Superannuation and Disability Claims
  • Medical Law
  • Public and Product Liability
  • Estate Litigation
  • Industrial and employment law

We also offer exclusive services to HACSU member in the following areas:

  • Wills and Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Law 


To access these discounted services*, contact HACSU today who will arrange a referral to Slater and Gordon. 

*Conditions apply. See for details. 


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