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Returned to work

Community Member

I’ve been on work cover for around 10/11 months due to work place injury, bullying, assault and numerous other things happend I’ve been sent to a new location ( temporarily) while I adjust to returning to work , today was first day back It was hard I was lumped in a role I’ve never done ( receptionist) Recived no training just answer phones take notes which is way stressing when I don’t know clients procedures or  even the telephone systems or who to ask for help no one was available despite me asking numerous times for help . I can’t say how I felt after leaving work all of 3 hours work left me sweating profusely and literally panicked state of mind then to top it off I got a snarky email from my nasty return to work co ordinator due to apparently me missing something in a timesheet I submitted and that was my fault given I’ve never had to do timesheets and again no one was around to assist me to complete these tasks . My dad says I should quit and after today I feel I should I I’mvery overwhelmed by today’s awful work day and told my new boss that too . I dread going into work tomorrow , how do others deal with returning to work after long absence and mental health problems I have anxiety and depression Re what happened at my original work site yes I am requesting a new return to work co ordinator 

50 Replies 50

Hi emotions 

I’ve had covid 7 times it never really bothered me much just made me tired and go to the toilet a lot but nothing much in the east of symptoms . I was one of the lucky ones not to suffer with it.  How are u going w ur covid ? 

work cover has been very supportive so far I’m not getting ahead of myself the rehabilitation part is part of the return to work process thru workcover ( but not at my previous employer) yes I imagine then saying they have no roles is part of the abuse ( cause I saw on seek they had readvertise my role + another in the same location I found it a bit disappointing  and also hilarious cause I’m so qualified in the industry then they readvertise very funny i thought but it is for the best as they will never change toxic culture is toxic culture. I fear my experiences has damaged me a lot I used to be a very nice confident person now just not I don’t like being around anybody apart from my family  and even that can be challenging if I’m having a bad day in my head so yeah I’m imagine my next role will be purely solo in the sense to work alone I can only trust myself and don’t feel  I would be comfortable working with others . Yes work cover rehab apparently will help me identify other skills I may have but really just need a full career change or just go run swag work on a farm with  goats 🐐 

Hello blues23


Do you like the blues music? I love it. A style that will never outdate in my mind.


Covid 7 times. You might have topped the list with that number. Not that I suggest you try to keep it up.

My covid is still dragging on in throat; voice on and off; definitely energy levels and foggy brain increase.


That is good to know that work cover have been very supportive. I did not realise that was the case. I do not understand why they did not have more input with your work situation.

Perhaps best to put that behind you now and move forward in your rehabilitation.

Are you trained or skilled in a certain area of work? Does your previous role allow you skills in other fields. It can be quite an interesting exercise to sit down and list exactly how many skills that you have.

It is natural that you will feel anxious about future interviews; positions; organisations; staff.

Remind yourself they are all different and not part of what has been.

Do you have a separate counsellor or therapist from workcover to help you with your anxiety?

Anxiety can be controlled with the right help and in some cases medication not necessarily ongoing.

It is worthwhile trying to manage that side of your health while you are rehabilitating.

You might already be doing this. Just ignore whatever I say that you are already doing.

The only thing that I feel is worth repeating is not to compare what is now or in the future to what was in the past as that whole experience is now in the past time wise. It just feels as though it is still with you because your mind has not yet settled.

I saw something on a current affair type programme briefly the other night advertised. They were discussing the fact that many people are doing just what you mentioned; having a completely new career change. There is enough work opportunities.

This could be a new start and turn your life around.

Swag work on a farm with goats is an option if you can afford to live off how ever much that pays. A goatherd.

Life has already improved for you. You are out of that workplace. You are free from them. They are still stuck there. They probably envy you.


Take care




Hi emotions 


sorry for my delay in responding keeping busy , I don’t mind blues music I just picked it cause I felt blue and like light blue as a colour. I’m very qualified In my job I  have lots of experience & yeah but not sure if it’s something I want to continue in .rehab has not started yet . In fact I had a meeting with my previous work fri and of course it was a pre termination meeting ( even thou they technically fired me a month ago they just forgot doing the pre medical release forms ( which I’m checking with WC if I have to complete cause if I don’t have to i won’t submit them . I’m very much thinking of going unfair dismissal as it certainly meets the criteria as they were readvertise my job literally one week after say they had no jobs for me so they are caught with their fingers in the pie so to speak . The meeting was mostly me telling them the horrific experience I’ve had working for them I was mostly met with stunned silence & looks of completely uncomfortable by my manager so but the whole thing keeps replaying in my mind on a loop it’s like PTSD doing all I can to say busy keep happy thoughts made new garden beds ect but yes I think my sister noticed the other day my mood shift on my face like I can’t hide it she knows  what I’ve bee b thru  but I go off into this place and I can’t even describe it it’s like a black hole and I think a lot of thoughts In there not negative not anything just ruminating and u know stuff. I just hope I get better I’m certainly booking in with my Dr and counseling this week so I can hopefully process the next parts . I’m sick of these people destroying my life .  Hope alls well with u and your covid is gone 😇

Hello blues,


Reply to people, when and if you can.

I am not on these forums every day either and have taken a bit of a break just recently.


I am not surprised that "the whole thing keeps on replaying in your mind on a loop.

You are actually experiencing what occurred over and over with reports; meetings. Having to sit in the company of your manager would be triggering. Personally I don't know why they put people through this as it can be very traumatising for some and they do not know who "the some" are.

This is the downside of Workcover and will be similar if you decide to follow the trail of unfair dismissal.

You have every right to lodge a claim.

I was not sure if you had realised what lies ahead if the claim is followed through with.

Do you have a strong advocate to have with you throughout the process if you decide to lodge an unfair dismissal claim?

I am not thinking workcover. An impartial advocate.


Are there skills and knowledge gained through your qualifications already achieved that can be used in a totally different field of work and or role?

Perhaps you can talk about strategies to help you move past this ordeal with your counsellor.

I hope that you are able to receive the support that you deserve and move on from such a draining experience; regardless of whatever choice you make.

Remember that you have done nothing wrong.

The system is set to exhaust people as a deterrent. This is masked by their "processes and procedures".

Look after yourself.



Hi emotions


WC was very surprised about this meeting & the context of it cause I was technically terminated a month ago  just my job or non job being dodgier they lie all the time even lied to WC regarding paying out my annual leave & entitlement which my work hasn’t and lied to WC telling them that I was paid out so yeah in another battle to get my entitlements as well , so yes I’ve had counselling since im trying to focus on the future . In regards to my experience & qualification I’m not sure if it’s transferable im in aged care which says a lot, I’ve done other jobs before delving into aged care it’s just getting foot in door so to speak.  Hope ur doing ok . Thanks 4 your kindness 🐼

Community Member

Hi Blues23, Believe me your not alone, I've been off work for most of 14 months after getting injured at work. Had surgery and physio and then rtw provider who seems to be more interested in keeping the company happy than me. I guess your luckier than me as I cant return to my previous job ever so will soon be unemployed of doing some pointless task given to me by my rtw provider.

I do intend to look for different work once all this is over but who knows what the future will hold.

Funny how companies seem the same when it comes to rtw and mental health problems, lack of care and compassion.  The best way I've found is to play the game they want you to play and let them feel they're in control until a situation arises where you can win.

How's it been since you posted this?

Community Member



sorry about your injury & work situation , it seems to be the way with some works they just are not interested in helping people RTW in any industry they terminate, terminate or push y out the door like I was , I can’t return to my previous employer ( potentially job ) too . The future can be a scary thought , I am technically unemployed now actually but waiting for occupational rehab to start in hopes they can assist in retraining to new role or just find a new job doing anything really . Has your WC provider been ok ? Are they helping u find new job ? Have you been able to get thru everything ok ? Me myself im trying to be ok ( fake it til I make it ) just taking my time with things , how about yourself? 

Community Member

Hi Blues23

your so right, spend years working for a company and as soon as you get injured its seeya. Your so right about the future, I'm technically unemployed now as well. RTW provider is looking for new role for me but nothing guaranteed but once the case is over can look for myself as well. I don't trust them to much as think there in insurers and employers side rather than mine. I play the game and stick to the rtw rules, got a decent lawyer so working on that as well. So far I'm still getting paid to sit at home and stew, play games on phone. I know what you mean Blues, I try to be ok and put on the brave face most of the time, got to fake it to make it and take your time with everything. Got my doctor involved as well and speak to my mental health chick but think that's running out of time, doctor sent me to other mental health psych but they wanted $130.00 a session so got advised to try here.

How are you finding it Blues. How'd you feel about things.... 

Community Member

I’m of the opinion that my job was always dodgy my sister told me as soon as u go to WC they will boot u or try to push u out which she’s right I knew it too but what choice do u have when injured at work , I’m kinda grateful WC is involved it’s a hard thing going through their rules ext but it’s better to recover at home than try to go back to work too soon after and then in same situation as b4 . Myself I’m up & down and very very angry like very at my job for lying and putting me thru more stress when I was starting to feel better a little. I don’t have a lawyer but looking for one but it’s so expensive and not sure that I can afford it.  I’m still having treatment via Wc and it’s helpful , do u have help thru ur capacity certificate 4 ur mental health ? as Wc should b paying 4 it not by u if u have a mental health injury due to work . 

Community Member

Hey Blues, 

Your spot on, you get work becos its what's expected of you and if someone offers you work you grab it hoping it will work out and at least its wages to spend lol. I went into work on Monday as part of my rtw and was told there's nothing we can give you to fit your restrictions (that's a lie) so they said go home. I informed my rtw provider and now I'm at home waiting waiting waiting for something to happen. Just spoke to my psych on the phone and you know its the best thing that's happened to me in over a year, out of a toxic workplace, sounds like the same goes for you if you think about it

If your injured physically or with mental health issues you cant handle them alone all the time so any help including wc is better than no help. 

Seems we both go through a mix of emotions, anger, sadness, loss, regret etc all leads to a stressed depressed feeling of why me. 

As for a lawyer, you know you can get one, No win No fee which means if you don't win your case against the insurer / work its no charge, that's what I have and the first consult is free. Think its important as they know all the rules and can help you navigate the law to get some kind of result from a physical or mental health aspect.

I got various treatment people through my own effort and my rtw provider in the end and my doctor sent a referral off to another psych but was to expensive and the insurer wouldn't pay for it but they told me about BB, guess I was meant to be here if you believe in fate.

Glad your help is doing something to improve your mental health Blues, its not easy to get help through a wc or insurer for mental health but worth keep trying, for me i have my psych from my rtw provider and BB. WC should be paying for it as should the company insurers but that's also admitting liability for your mental health and they don't like doing that as it could lead to a bigger pay-out or a TPD percentage.

So how are you feeling today, guess your sat around same as me atm. What do you do to pass time a make your self feel better about things.