Can I Get A Job With Mental Health Issues
This is a topic I wanted to touch on, I have recently left a job where I was discriminated against due to my mental health and I wanted to give advice to other people who may be in a job or looking for work.
I feel that mental health employment rights aren’t spoken about enough and that’s something that really does need to change if people are going to get fair treatment.
When it comes to mental health employee rights, you cannot be discriminated against due to mental health, you cannot be fired due to mental health and you have the right to work no matter what mental health issues you may have.
Sure the rules are forever changing but make sure you know where you stand before you get a job. At the moment you don’t legally need to disclouse any mental health issues although if you’re working in care for example you may be asked and it’s up to you how you proceed.
Don’t ever feel that you have to do something or that you’re not allowed to do something due to your mental health, if this is the case then you should seek advice.
Mental Health At work
Mental health in the workplace is something that used to be very taboo, no one wanted to talk about it and people wouldn’t acknowledge it. These days times really have changed, mostly for the better.
Men and women can have mental health issues, stigma still remains in regards to men having mental health issues and more needs to be done to recognise this, however that’s not what I want to address.
Your boss should be doing all they can to support your mental health. When I worked in a care home, one of the good things put into place was a counsellor that would come in once a month and any staff could speak to her if they felt they needed to.
If you feel your workplace could be doing something more to support people with mental health, talk to them. Here’s a few ways you can be supported with mental health at work.
- Paid mental health sick days.
- Paid counsellor sessions, normally once or twice a month.
- A quiet zone, a place to relax, meditate and chill while at work if needed.
Mental Health Sick Days
Something that companies are doing these days are giving staff a set number of paid days off a year, these are for mental health days and something I feel really makes a difference.
One example, a company I know gives their employes 3 days off a year, fully paid as mental health days when they need them. They can only be used one at a time however so that you don’t just take a whole week off.
At the same time you can take a day off due to mental health, they’re like sick days. If you’re throwing up you can’t do your job, if you’re depressed and have no energy or motivation, you equally can’t do your job.
If you’re confused about mental health sick days, what actually qualifies and what to do then take a look at this link. Yes it’s a fit for work article and although I hate everything they’re doing at the moment the advice they give is still recognised and what goes for the moment.
I have also been off work long term due to mental health, you can get help from your GP as soon as you start taking time off, however you won’t be able to get a sick note untill you’ve taken 5 days off first.
Thankfully workplaces and GP surgeries are taking mental health more seriously and providing the help that’s needed, this isn’t the same everywhere but it’s changing.
Remember, your health comes first and your workplace needs to be understanding of this.
Mental Health At Work Advice
One thing I would always say, if you’re looking for new work and going to interviews it’s always a good idea to ask how they support people with mental health, if they don’t then maybe it’s not the company for you!
Some places might have mental health at work policy so check that out if they do, also make sure you know your way around any discrimination policies that they may have so that you’re not being discriminated against.