Woman Claims She Got PTSD From Respect and Diversity Workshop

by Katherine Timpf
Karen Hutchinson said a role-playing exercise on bullying gave her a mental breakdown.

An Australian public servant claims is she is suffering post-traumatic stress disorder due to a workplace respect and diversity workshop she attended four years ago.

Karen Hutchinson, who has been off work and receiving compensation since she first sought treatment in 2011, just lost her bid to have her payments backdated for a year.

According to Hutchinson, a role-playing exercise on bullying caused her to suffer a complete mental breakdown.

Participants had been asked to simulate threats in the workplace. Hutchinson said her boss looked at her and said “I am going to f***ing kill you,” at which point her “psychological integrity came to a crashing halt.”

The incident occurred in March of 2010, but Hutchinson did not seek medical treatment until the following January — after taking a long vacation which included a cruise around Europe. This is likely why she lost her fight to be paid compensation dating back to the date of the workshop.

She had worked as a claims manager for a federal workplace insurer called Comcare.

She is now retired and living in Western Australia.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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