April 29, 2021
According to a 2018 study conducted by the Duke of Cambridge and Mind Launch Online, 48 percent workers have a mental health problem. However, they choose not to tell anyone about it. Slowly these mental health problems aggravate to the level that they manifest in their physical forms harming the affected person mentally, physically and emotionally.
Most people do not talk about their mental health at work because they fear that they would have to face some kind of retaliation. This retaliation could include being looked over for further opportunities in the company, staff losing respect for the affected person, senior leadership thinking that the affected person was unfit to do the job, and people withdrawing helping hands. The reason why most people struggling with a mental health disorder think this way is because 85 percent of them feel that people still stigmatize mental health disorders. They are still unable to accept that mental health problems are as real and treatable as physical problems.
Telling the boss
In spite of this thought process, mental health experts feel that a person battling any kind of mental health disorder should tell their boss about it. After all, it is the legal duty of every employer to protect their employees from stressors and ensure that the work environment is healthy. There is nothing wrong about talking about your mental health at work. On the contrary, it helps take things slowly, set expectations, and establish boundaries.
Here are a few tips that can be used when telling your boss about your depression or anxiety:
Talk to them in person: Talk to your boss in person rather than on the phone or the email. Talking in person ensures that the other person is listening to you and can empathize.
Choose a time: Set up a meeting when you are ready and when you think you are at your best during the day. Ensure that you are calm and treat the conversation like any other.
Present the facts: Tell your boss some facts about the mental health problem you are facing. You can tell them that you are seeking professional help and your general course and time of treatment. You do not need to share personal details like the name of your therapist, medicines or the exact schedule of your treatment with your boss.
Ask for help: Before going for the conversation, take out a list of your responsibilities. Talk to your boss about these responsibilities indicating which you can handle yourself and for which you would need help. This is the right conversation to set clear expectations of what you can do and what you would need help for.
Keep it short and professional: While having the conversation with your boss, try not to let your emotions control you. Avoid sharing too many details about how you feel during your depressive episodes. Keeping the conversation honest, frank, and short would set the tone for a positive outcome.
The way forward
Remember that talking about your mental health problem is the same as talking about your physical problem. Do not worry about the stigma. As per the laws in the U.S., no employer can discriminate against you if you are capable of performing your job. And if they do, then it is time to look for an organization that would support you through this tough time.
If you or someone you know is battling a mental health disorder, feel free to reach out to us at Invictus Health Group. We can connect you with mental health treatment centers offering suitable support in a favorable environment for long-term healing. Our wide range of network facilities have developed reliable and efficient inpatient treatment programs for mental health to provide treatment and therapy for majority mental health disorders.
You can call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline 866-548-0190 for more information about mental health treatment programs near you. You can also chat online with a representative from the admissions team to learn more about treatment modalities as well as about our network of mental health treatment centers.