Mental “Disorders” in the Workplace
Hidden Behind Cubical Walls
Many companies claim to support diversity; addressing racial, cultural, religious, age, sexual orientation, and physical differences. However…they fail to “include” employees with mental disorders; who may be highly intelligent, persistent, resilient, empathetic, and are likely to contribute novel points of view.
The Impact of Silence
Employees who struggle with mental disorders typically feel pressured to remain silent; impairing the organizations for which they work, as well as their own success. They are less likely to request fundamental accommodations; which have been proven to minimize stress, and improve productivity.
When someone appears to be struggling, colleagues often add insult to injury, judging and distancing themselves from their coworker; rather than reaching out to provide support.
Undisclosed employees often experience anxiety, as they try to squeeze doctor appointments into lunch hours, or “attempt” to leave the office a few minutes early “unnoticed” to renew prescriptions, or meet with a therapist. Unfortunately, many choose to forgo treatment in order to avoid this incremental tension in the short run, which jeopardizes their mental stability over time.
Careers can be stifled for those who have proven themselves valuable to their employers, and are concerned that a promotion within their organization, or a move to a different organization, will eliminate what little flexibility (i.e. freedom) they have “earned” to “take care of themselves.” They recognize that unfamiliar supervisors are likely to watch “new” employees more closely. Understandably, many individuals fear transitioning to another company, because it will disrupt medical coverage, and in many cases require them to “start over” after being forced to terminate treatment with a trusted doctor or therapist, who does not participate in the their new company’s insurance plan. These employees often feel “stuck” in unfulfilling positions, which tends to further deteriorate their mental health.
The stress of keeping mental illness a secret, the challenges of getting treatment, the inability to ask for simple accommodations, and the fear of stigma can end an individual’s career…or even worse, end a life.
By “Bringing Diversity to Mind” together, we can help to reduce the stigma that impedes so many employees from reaching their potential.
Together we can expose the prevalence of mental disorders in the workplace; diluting stigma, and making an enormous difference for all.
Do you, or someone you know, struggle with…
- Bipolar Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- Communication Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Personality Disorder
- Dissociative Disorders
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Tourette’s Syndrome…
For additional “labels,” as defined by the American Psychological Association’s DSM-5 (which guides the implementation of the EEOC’s American’s with Disabilities Act), click Mental Disorders.
Mental Illness can happen to anybody!
Please join us by completing our survey, as we strive to…
- shed light on the prevalence of mental “disorders” in the workplace;
- fight the stigma of mental illness;
- reduce the odds of suicide;
- give those who struggle hope for the future.
After completing our survey, please invite friends, colleagues, family members, and those you have met (in local support groups, around town, at work, at school, online, or anywhere else you can imagine) to complete our survey as well.
Be Counted! Illuminate Mental Diversity at Work.
There is safety (AND strength) in numbers. “All for one, and one for all.”
Suggestions, feedback, comments, and questions welcomed at MindingDiversity@aol.com
© October 2015