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From: The Socialist issue 886, 27 January 2016: Housing: smash the Tory wrecking bill

Search site for keywords: Council - Social workers - Workers - Disability - Depression

"I have left work many times in tears" - a council worker comments

Workplace stress, photo by JC Count (Creative Common)

Workplace stress, photo by JC Count (Creative Common)   (Click to enlarge)

I work in an office for my local council supporting social workers. Some days I really enjoy my job and I feel I help social workers with the paperwork side of their job, so that they can focus on the more critical parts.

A lot of social workers are very grateful for the support I provide and I feel valued by them.

However, I do find there is a lot of 'office politics' that comes with the administration side of the work.

There have been a lot of changes to the definition of an 'administration task' and in what the social worker is expected to do themselves.

This is due to the many restructures that have taken place. It can lead to some of my colleagues feeling very awkward when they have to say they cannot do what they have been asked.

It can be a very high pressured environment and people can sometimes be short with one another. As someone with a 'hidden disability' this can be very difficult as people do not understand how they can deeply upset me. I am open about my disability, however I don't wish to be defined by it and am cautious of people using it against me.


I have left work many times in tears from feeling very overwhelmed. At times my depression has been greatly heightened due to being in the workplace.

There have been positives of being in work. From where I was three years ago, when unemployed, I have grown dramatically in confidence. When I work on computers I am in my element.

Senior managers should have more awareness on the effects that high workloads have on people, because I struggle to tell people that I'm not coping before it's too late.

That is my hope but I think we as a workforce and trade union will have to fight for it!

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