Working on Wellness: A Practical Guide to Mental Health

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You are a very competent worker but I have noticed lately that you are having trouble coping with customer calls. It is a big decision for a person with mental illness to disclose their disability to a manager. There is the fear of being discriminated against, being seen in a different light and being treated differently, such as being overlooked for promotions and opportunities to do other work related duties. Outlining privacy and confidentiality policies and practices relating to sensitive information is not only critical for developing and maintaining trust, it is essential when negotiating reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

Body language can give many messages.

It is important to be aware of this when you are meeting with the worker to discuss sensitive issues. Example of what not to do include sitting behind a desk, with arms and legs crossed and limited eye contact.


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This does not help to create a supportive and trusting environment in which to discuss mental health issues. Be prepared for the meeting to become uncomfortable or for the discussion not to go the way you wanted it to go. Some people can feel very threatened when any attempt is made by a manager to discuss personal issues such as mental health. Reactions can be as extreme as displaying anger and denial. It is important to stay calm, firm, fair, consistent and in control.

If a worker chooses not to seek assistance from you then it is important to finish the meeting by letting them know that you are available at any time should they require assistance. If you feel the work performance of the worker is impacting on the business then you have a right to address these issues through formal avenues, such as performance appraisal meetings.

If you feel there is a health and safety risk in continuing to allow the person to work, or to carry out certain work duties, then you have a duty of care to take action to ensure the person is safe in the workplace refer to Appendix A — Knowing the Law. Below is a summary about what to do — and what not to do — when communicating and interacting with a worker with a mental illness:. Search Search search. What works Xavier has a diagnosed mental illness.

I found that once I stopped the drug use I was able to recognize my bipolar symptoms and address them with the help of my psychiatrist and therapist. Denial is common among dual diagnosis patients. Also commonly, seeking help is their last resort not the first action. Smith suggests that patients start by looking for help in their circle of family, friends, or clergy.

Opening up to someone they trust, like their general practitioner, can help connect them to suitable treatment.

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I tried finding a dual diagnosis treatment facility starting with an online search, as Shallowhorn advises. Founded in , NAATP is a membership organization for for-profit and non-profit private treatment facilities.


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NAATP is attempting to shed light on these issues and educate their membership and the general public. The thing I would change [about current treatment strategies] is that in the presence of one of these conditions, an aggressive effort be made to determine whether the other is present.

Tsuang sees the need for more education about the biological condition of depression, as well as for non-addictive medications like SSRIs, the most frequently prescribed antidepressants, which are non-addictive.

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Successfully completing treatment may be somewhat of a misnomer. News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons. Follow Us. Occupational Health can assess the team member and suggest adjustments that could be made to help the team member return to work. When a team member is ready to return to work, it is important to ensure that they feel supported and understand what will be expected of them on their return. A manager should consider meeting them away from the workplace before they return to discuss their return and alleviate any concerns they may have.

A return-to-work interview should also be held once they do return. It provides a good opportunity to:. A manager should monitor a team member's return to work and be mindful that mental health can fluctuate.

What is Mental Health?

If they seem to experience further ill health, it is important to intervene as early as possible. Most staff who experience mental ill health will recover and return to being a valuable and productive member of the team.

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However on some occasions, even with adjustments in place, a team member's performance or conduct may warrant further action. If further action is necessary the manager must follow the organisation's procedures for handling these matters and ensure that a fair process is completed as set out in Discipline and grievances at work: The Acas guide.

Acas offers free e-learning courses at www. It gives an overview of managing mental health in the workplace. Our training is carried out by experienced Acas staff who work with businesses every day. Training can be specially designed for companies too. Go to Training for up-to-date information about our training and booking places on face-to-face courses. Skip Navigation. Advice and Guidance. Advice A-Z. Rights and responsibilities at work.

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