Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s personal and professional life. While often associated with military veterans, PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. In the workplace, PTSD can present unique challenges for both employees and employers.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how PTSD can manifest in the workplace and discuss strategies for creating a supportive and accommodating work environment, with a focus on Australian resources and context.

PTSD in the Workplace

Employees with PTSD may experience a range of symptoms that can affect their work performance and interactions with colleagues. These symptoms can include:

1. Intrusive Thoughts:

Intrusive memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event can disrupt concentration and productivity.

2. Avoidance:

Employees may avoid certain tasks, situations, or interactions that trigger memories of the trauma.

3. Hyperarousal:

Heightened anxiety, irritability, and an exaggerated startle response can make it difficult for employees to navigate stressful situations or conflicts at work.

4. Emotional Numbness:

Employees may appear detached, disengaged, or have difficulty connecting with colleagues.

5. Absenteeism:

PTSD symptoms can lead to increased absenteeism, as employees may struggle to cope with their symptoms or attend appointments related to their mental health.

Supporting Employees with PTSD

Workplace PTSD Mind Health

Creating a supportive work environment is crucial for helping employees with PTSD thrive in their roles. Here are some strategies Australian employers can implement:

1. Educate and Train:

Provide training for managers and colleagues to raise awareness about PTSD and how to support affected employees. Mental Health First Aid Australia offers courses that can help employees identify and respond to signs of mental health issues, including PTSD (Mental Health First Aid Australia, 2021).

2. Foster Open Communication:

Encourage employees to communicate their needs and provide a safe space for them to discuss their experiences. Regular check-ins with managers can help identify any challenges and provide opportunities for support.

3. Offer Accommodations:

Work with employees to identify and provide reasonable accommodations that can help them manage their symptoms and perform their job duties. This may include flexible scheduling, quiet workspaces, or the ability to take breaks when needed. The Australian Human Rights Commission provides guidance on workplace adjustments for employees with mental health conditions (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2021).

4. Provide Resources:

Ensure that employees have access to mental health resources, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), counseling services, or referrals to mental health professionals specializing in PTSD. Beyond Blue, a leading Australian mental health organization, offers a range of resources and support services for individuals and workplaces (Beyond Blue, 2021).

5. Maintain Confidentiality:

Respect employees’ privacy and maintain confidentiality regarding their PTSD diagnosis and any accommodations provided.

The Importance of a Trauma-Informed Workplace

Creating a trauma-informed workplace is essential for supporting employees with PTSD and fostering a culture of mental health awareness. A trauma-informed approach recognizes the prevalence of trauma, understands its impact on individuals and organizations, and responds by integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices (Blue Knot Foundation, 2021).

By implementing trauma-informed practices, Australian organisations can create a more inclusive, supportive, and resilient workplace. This not only benefits employees with PTSD but also contributes to overall employee well-being and organisational success.


PTSD can have a significant impact on employees’ mental health and work performance. By understanding how PTSD can manifest in the workplace and implementing supportive strategies, Australian employers can create a more inclusive and accommodating work environment. Through education, open communication, and a commitment to trauma-informed practices, organizations can help employees with PTSD thrive both personally and professionally.

Remember, supporting employees with PTSD is not only a matter of legal compliance but also a reflection of an organization’s values and commitment to employee well-being. By fostering a supportive and understanding workplace, we can help break the stigma surrounding mental health and create a more compassionate and resilient workforce.


1. Australian Human Rights Commission. Workers with Mental Illness: A Practical Guide for Managers.
2. Beyond Blue. Supporting Someone at Work.
3. Blue Knot Foundation. Trauma-Informed Practice in the Workplace.
4. Mental Health First Aid Australia. Workplace Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid Training Pathways for Workplaces