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Are there benefits for workers who suffer psychological distress?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Mental, emotional and psychological trauma can have a profound effect on a person’s personal and professional life. Such trauma can result from various experiences, including a sudden life-altering event or prolonged exposure to stressful environments.

If such circumstances occur at work, what recourse do workers in Tennessee have?

Symptoms of psychological trauma

Recent studies find that over 56% of adults in Tennessee do not receive treatment for emotional and mental health issues. One problem may be that many are not aware of the signs and symptoms.

Common indicators of psychological trauma can encompass:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Sleep disturbances

Additionally, individuals experiencing trauma may suffer from avoidance and numbing. This involves trying to avoid anything that reminds them of the traumatic event. Other symptoms may include feeling disconnected from reality or having trouble feeling present in the current moment.

Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws for mental and emotional trauma

In Tennessee, the workers’ compensation laws distinctly recognize psychological trauma as a valid reason for claiming compensation. If a worker faces a traumatic event or a series of events leading to mental or emotional distress, these laws offer protection.

A key stipulation is that the traumatic event or events must have occurred during the course of employment. However, the law does not provide compensation for mental injuries resulting from disciplinary actions, job termination or changes in working hours or conditions.

Workers can claim compensation if they demonstrate that their employment was the primary cause of their mental health condition. The burden of proof rests on the worker to establish this connection.

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