How a Physical Injury at Work Affects Emotional Health As Well
Dealing with Depression After a Physical Injury at Work
Migrant workers are amongst the most vulnerable members of society in the US. They routinely face adverse conditions such as poverty, lack of adequate housing, isolation from their community and families, and exclusion from medical services due to their migrant/illegal immigrant status. To make matters worse, migrant workers are mostly employed in what is termed 3-D occupations; dirty, dangerous and demanding. This unhappy union of circumstances means that an injury at work is not only a physical injury for migrant workers but a considerable emotional burden as well.
The Emotional Implications when a Migrant Worker is Injured at Work
When a migrant worker in the USA suffers a physical injury at work, they are entitled to emergency medical care regardless of their immigrant status or lack of insurance. Once their condition is stable, they can be discharged to their own home, a nursing facility, or a rehab center. For migrant workers, this is often the real start of their problems, because they feel dread when faced with the challenges of the future:
- There is no one to look after them at home, or they do not have a suitable place to convalesce. The inability to look after their wellbeing can be as emotionally debilitating as the injury itself.
- No work means no pay. The worry over rent and debts to pay, as well as dependents that rely on a migrant worker’s income, can be an emotional burden.
- Job security. The uncertainty whether they will still have a job when they recover.
- Deportation. Often the decision is taken to repatriate an injured migrant worker because the cost of medical care in Mexico is much lower. This can lead to anxiety over their ability to return to the US to work in the future.
Treatment of Injury-Related Depression Significantly Improves the Prognosis of Recovery and Return to Work
A recent study about depression after a physical injury at work indicates that:
- Depression is a natural response after a workplace injury.
- Psychological treatment during the first six months after a work injury is essential for the mental health and future happiness of the patient.
- An injured worker who has overcome depression within six months of their injury is more likely to continue feeling better and make a full recovery.
- Mental health and recovery after a work injury form a virtuous circle. A person who can return to work is more likely to experience good mental health, and someone who feels mentally healthy is more likely to be able to return to work.
Treating both the physical injury and the mental health of a person who was injured at work is imperative for a complete recovery. At Allista we understand the worry that migrant workers go through when they suffer an injury at work. Through migrant patient care, we help to ensure that patients are treated holistically, receiving both medical treatment and emotional support when they need it most.
Allista is intimately involved with Hospital En Casa S.A., which provides hospital and attending care at home, and Americas Hospital, a private hospital institution in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through our medical network and case management system, we can help you to make a full recovery so that you can return to work. Contact us to learn more about our services.
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