Summary: Working Through It is a series of videos of real stories of employees who experienced mental health issues. Their strategies, tips and advice can provide virtual peer support for employees with mental illness as well as mental health awareness for all.
The original Working Through It™ resource, launched in 2009 included people sharing their experiences of working through times of mental health pressures at work, off work and returning to work (see background for more information). Since then, life has evolved for the original participants who share what they have learned, and features new participants who share their personal insights. There are also videos on topics such as stigma, disclosure and coping strategies.
All of the following videos are freely shared. You can use them for workshops, e-newsletters, web content or as a link in an email. Our only request is to credit the source as www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com.
What it felt like
Hear directly from those who describe what it felt like, how they coped and where they went to for help.
What it felt like before you were diagnosed
Hear what it felt like from those before they were diagnosed with a mental illness.
Coping at work
Individuals describe how they manage their own mental health while dealing with work issues such as high demands or conflict.
Disclosure is a personal choice, but can be stressful when we do not know how the disclosure would be received by those at work.
Return to work
Individuals talk about how they wanted to be treated when returning after time off related to a mental illness.
Advice to leaders
A variety of employees who experienced mental health challenges at work share their personal advice for leaders.
Advice to employers
A variety of employees who experienced mental health challenges at work share their personal advice for employers.
Hear from individuals who reached out for help with their mental health, and who they reached out to.
Hear why you might reach out for peer support if you are struggling with your own mental health.
Family and friends
A variety of individuals who live and thrive with mental illness share how family and friends can be supportive.
Those who at one time felt they would not get better, share how they used hope in order to thrive.
Ann is a professional who is always supporting other people in need. She minimized and denied her own struggle with anxiety. Once Ann decided to take action for her own well-being, her life changed.
Bart was an effective and well-respected leader when he was struggling with his own mental health. The people around him were not aware of what he was going through. Bart shares his experience for the benefit of employees and employers alike.
This video features the personal story of Bonnie, who experienced debilitating panic attacks. At a time when she felt her worst, Bonnie had to be relentless in finding solutions. She shares the toolkit of ideas she developed to keep herself well. See Bonnie's insights.
Constantin suffered multiple traumas and turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. He eventually reached out to others and reclaimed his faith and hope. It's a journey - Constantin still experiences periods of anxiety and depression but with the right supports, he has been able to recognize the symptoms earlier to minimize the impact of them. See Constantin's insights.
Donna is a management consultant with clinical depression, whose symptoms first appeared as the result of a physical injury. In this video, Donna discusses how she believes she is a constant work in progress. By telling this to herself and others, she has been able to take a traumatic experience and translate it into a new career. She is a role model for others to speak up for what you need, and you can learn and grow from it. See Donna's insights.
In this week's video, we learn how Hazel attributed her symptoms to her personal situation and denied it was depression. When she was finally convinced to receive treatment, she developed significantly healthier coping strategies. See Hazel's insights.
In this video, we hear from Marvin who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder related to his military service. Today, Marvin uses the skills he learned to help others. He talks about how you can go on and live an enjoyable life when you do the work. See Marvin's insights.
Matthew is an engineer who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. In this video, he talks about what symptoms he experienced early on before he was diagnosed. He got through it with one small improvement once a week for 24 years - there were times he was close to death to times where he is now thriving. Matthew says most people would be surprised at what they are capable of.
In this video, Melonie returns to talk to us about what it's been like the past 10 years since we last spoke to her. She explains that the journey is not easy - there are still times where she slips and falters. When she fears she can't go through mental illness again, Melonie remembers she's been there before, and knows the way out. See Melonie's insights.
As someone who identifies as non-binary, Nyk has had to deal with a variety of stigma and discrimation. The experience of a mental health breakdown helped highlight the importance of weaving in all aspects of who you are to live your most effective life. See Nyk's insights.
In this video, Phillipia shares having experienced postpartum depression twice. She realized she was not herself when she started disconnecting with family and lost her motivation. She knew that this was not the person she was, and reached out for help. Ten years ago, she was afraid to tell her story for fear of being judged. She has returned to give an update on her life, this time more educated and not afraid to tell people what she went through. Her words of advice are to just reach out and never give up because there is hope. See Philippia's insights.
Rosie is a professional who was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and again in 2015. During this time, she went through both physical and mental health challenges. Rosie became confused and suicidal as she didn't think she could bear the anxiety and pain. With the support of her family as well as her workplace, she has been able to experience happiness, joy and hope again. See Rosie's insights.
Thank you to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario and Mood Disorders Association of Ontario for their support on both the original and new version of Working Through It resource, as well as Revivre for their support with development of the French version of Working Through It.