Asking for help or accommodation at work can be difficult, particularly when you’re experiencing mental health issues. The good news is, you can use these proven approaches to advocate for yourself, your success and your well-being, whether at work or returning to work.
Here are some suggestions with links to resources that can help:
- Get a diagnosis from a medical doctor. While you are waiting to see a physician about what you’re feeling, you may want to take a self-assessment. These self-assessments don’t provide you with a diagnosis, but can help you organize your thoughts before your appointment. The results can help your physician understand what you’re experiencing. You can also view this video in which individuals describe how they felt before they were diagnosed.
- Reach out for support, whether it’s to an EAP, a clinician, a virtual support group, a peer supporter, health resources, or family or friends. It’s important to speak with someone about what you’re feeling so you don’t go through it alone.
- Consider the pros and cons of disclosing health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, at work. These questions help you think about how sharing details about your condition might serve you.
- Learn who at work can help you, whether you’re working through a mental illness or returning to work after a leave.
- Request an accommodation from your employer if you qualify and if it can help you do your job. Learning your rights and how to speak to your employer can give you the confidence to advocate for yourself.
- Review incomes sources, such as unemployment or disability benefits, so you can reduce financial stress if you need to take time off. View the video Navigating the disability supports system to hear helpful advice on managing the claims process.
- Seek out advice and support from others who have had similar conditions. If you continue to work while stressed or ill, hearing from others who have had similar conditions can be helpful. This is one way to minimize negative affects on your work and well-being.
- Choose what to say to co-workers who want to know what you’re going through. You can decide how much of your mental health condition you want to disclose.
- Learn to build your resilience and manage stress. This will serve you well in both times of poor mental health and times of relative wellness.