Should You Tell Your Boss about Your Mental Illness?

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Many people are affected by mental illness

The discussion surrounding mental health is gradually losing stigma and gaining legitimacy in the open public. However, this discussion in the workplace remains silent as employees with psychiatric disorders seldom open up about their struggles to employers, inhibiting their own recovery and treatment in fear they may jeopardize their jobs.

As a result, a lose-lose situation unfolds: the mental health condition goes unrecognized and untreated and the productivity at work diminishes. Common problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD and anxiety have a costly economic impact because they directly lower performance.  

According to Harvard Health, the classic depression and anxiety symptoms of lowered motivation and drive causes “absenteeism,” when an employee begins to decline in productivity in work and call out. Research encourages companies to actually invest in the mental health of their workers, not only for morality’s sake but to improve their own bottom line. Adequate treatment can alleviate symptoms for the employee and improve job performance, but getting there first requires the employee to open up about their experience.

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Coming to terms with mental illness may be difficult enough, but admitting it to yourself, immediate family and then disclosing to the workplace provides a direct segway to opportunity for recovery. Most people’s worst fears are that they will be rejected and shunned, or maybe even let go. The reality is that it is legal and binding for employers to be a partner in the recovery progress.

Much progress has been made as companies over the last few years seem to have become more understanding of conditions like depression and anxiety. First and foremost for an employer, there is a legal obligation to provide a safe place for employees. Numerous studies have concluded that when mental conditions are addressed, companies reduce job-related accidents, sick days, and employee turnover, as well as improve the number of hours worked and employee productivity.

The reality of recovering from mental illness is that there’s no quick fix. Employers should be understanding to that in order to regain productivity from their hires, they will need to be accommodating and respectful in the time it make take for their employee to regain their mental health. Everyone benefits in the long run.


Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.


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