SUMMARY: Human Resources professionals can help frontline supervisors and managers better respond to employees who require accommodation or are returning to work after mental health leave.

The following questions are adapted for human resources professionals from the Managing Mental Health Matters Leader's Guide. This approach can help you to assign and review online training with supervisors and managers to better address workplace mental health issues.

Accommodation policies and processes

Questions for Human Resources related to accommodation policies and processes:

(Before answering, gather the actual policies, procedures or resources that your organization currently offers.)

  1. How will we approach an individual when we think an accommodation may be needed?
  2. What is our process to develop an accommodation plan?
  3. Who needs to be involved from our organization?
  4. Who can we share personal information with?
  5. What are the limits of our authority in terms of accommodation strategies?
  6. What is the expectation for us in terms of monitoring an ongoing accommodation plan?
  7. How do we respond to an employee in crisis?
  8. What are the resources available in our organization to assist with an accommodation?
  9. What policies does our organization have related to accommodation?

After considering your answers, you can assign the free online video module Managing Accommodation to all supervisors and managers. When they have completed the module, you may wish to facilitate a discussion using the following questions.

Discussion questions for Human Resources to pose to supervisors or managers about accommodation:

Ask supervisors or managers to consider their thoughts or ideas for each of the following questions and be prepared to discuss:

  1. How will you approach an individual when you think a mental health-related accommodation may be needed?
  2. What will be your process to develop an accommodation plan for your employee and who is involved from our organization?
  3. Who can you share personal information about your employee with?
  4. How will you monitor an ongoing accommodation plan?
  5. How will you respond to an employee in crisis?
  6. How will you measure the success of an accommodation?

Return to work policies and processes

Questions for Human Resources related to return-to-work policies and procedures:

(Be prepared with the actual policies, procedures or resources that your organization currently offers.)

  1. What will be our process while someone is off work due to mental health issues?
  2. What policies does our organization have related to return to work?
  3. What is our standard return-to-work process and how does this approach differ?
  4. Who needs to be involved from our organization?
  5. When do we begin discussion about return to work and what is the process?
  6. What are the limits of our authority in terms of return-to-work planning?
  7. What is expected of us in terms of ongoing management of return-to-work success?
  8. What is the process if the return to work is not going well?
  9. What are the resources available in our organization to assist with the return to work?

After considering your answers, you can assign the free online video module Managing Return to Work to all supervisors and managers. When they have completed the module, you may wish to facilitate a discussion using the following questions.

Discussion questions for Human Resources to pose to supervisors or managers about return to work:

Ask supervisors or managers to consider their thoughts or ideas for each of the following questions and be prepared to discuss:

  1. What will be your process while someone is off work due to mental health issues?
  2. When will you begin discussion about return to work and what will be your process?
  3. Who from the organization will be involved in the return-to-work process?
  4. What is your process if the return to work is not going well?
  5. What resources will you access to assist with the return to work?
  6. How will you measure effective and sustainable return to work strategies?