According to the WHO on www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/, 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their lives. If you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, it can feel like you don’t fit into society. Instead, it seems as though you are different and in some ways an outcast. However, this statistic clearly shows that’s not the case. This doesn’t change the fact that it can be difficult for someone with a mental health condition to find work and cope with it in office conditions.
If you do have a mental health condition, you might be worried about how it impacts your career. This will certainly be true if you have just received a diagnosis. Or, if you are thinking about speaking to a therapist about getting one. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding mental health in the workplace, and that’s why we need to look at the facts. In many ways, a mental health condition doesn’t have to affect your career at all.
Telling Your Employer
You might already have a diagnosis of a mental health condition. It’s possible that you feel you must disclose this either on your CV or at the job interview. However, you don’t need to do this at all. You have the right to protect your privacy, and as such your employer never needs to know you have a mental health diagnosis. However, sometimes it is in your best interest to inform your employer.
Are they an equal opportunities employer? If they are this means that they are happy to employ people with mental and physical health conditions. There is even evidence to suggest that some employers are more likely to interview people with mental conditions due to fear of accusations of discrimination.
As well as this, by alerting your employer, you can work together to alter your role in the business accordingly. This may involve taking responsibilities away from you that you might find difficult. For instance, someone with Asperger’s Syndrome might find interacting face to face with individuals particularly difficult.
Alerting your employer will also make it easier if you need time off work for your condition. Rather than taking unexplained absences, your employer will be aware you needed time off your condition.
Is It Affecting Your Work?
It’s possible that you don’t have a mental health diagnosis but a mental issue is affecting your job. For instance, you might find that you have very little energy through the day, even though you are getting the right amount of sleep. This can be evidence of bipolar disorder as shown on sites such as www.bipolar-lives.com/bipolar-depression-symptoms.html. If that’s the case, it would be in your best interest to speak to a therapist. Generally speaking, a clinical diagnosis is not needed unless the condition is affecting your quality of life. If it’s altering your ability to function at work, this could certainly point to the fact that you need help.
Of course, it’s possible that your work is not being impacted by a mental health issue you are suffering from. In fact, people around you could be a completely oblivious to a problem you’re dealing with. In a situation like this, it may not be necessary to tell anyone, but you should still seek help if you feel as though it is impacting your life outside of work.
Should Your Work Help?
Most employers do have a structure set up to help people deal with issues such as stress, depression and anxiety. If you are struggling to cope with any issue like this in the office, you might want to speak to your HR team. Have a look at www.sumhr.com/hr-manager-role/ to find out the role of HR and how it affects you. They should be able to help you and perhaps provide you with further support. Many employees are reluctant to come forward with issues like this because they feel as though it makes them seem weaker in the eyes of their employer. However, you can not be legally dismissed for seeking help due to a mental health issue. This would open your employer to a claim of wrongful dismissal.
If you do disclose a mental health issue, you might be worried about how your career could change. For instance, you may be concerned that you’d no longer be considered for promotion. Again, this is a form of discrimination and would certainly leave an employer open to legal claims. As long as your work hadn’t suffered, there is no reason to think a mental health problem would change any aspect of your career. You can still reach high levels of success and gain a firm position in a business.