“Human” Resources

Education, Communication, Respect

The following resources can help to enlighten and guide employers, human resource professionals, managers, and colleagues, along with the employees who struggle with mental disorders. Each listing has been included within one primary category to provide structure; however, we suggest you browse through them all, because the majority address more than one of the topics.  You can explore: best practices for inclusion; the complex issue of disclosure; the invisible challenges of individual disorders; supported employment, and “reasonable” workplace accommodations.

Several of the items address the impact of today’s high speed, stressful, information overloaded workplace on the productivity and emotional well being of ALL employees.

The search bar (accessed by clicking the magnifying glass toward the upper right corner of the screen) can help you proactively explore specific keywords as well.

Click through to see all listings within a given format

Articles A
Musings (Blogs) ß
HR Consultant – Content
Webinars, Movies, Radio, ETC.
Books…Just a few of the many <

…Or browse (all formats) within the categories below.

Stigma & Labels
Disclosure and Accommodations
What Employers and Politicians Need to

Tools for Employee Success
Creativity and Mental Illness
Personal Stories of Success and Inspiration
Biographies – Books
Non-Fiction Books – Practical Information

Stigma & Labels
Disclosure and Accommodations
What Employers and Politicians Need to Know
  • Mental Health at Work – Something’s Not Right – (PTSD, Bipolar, Military, Veteran) – Rehumanizing the workplace – stigma, peer, support, stigma, addiction. – The Agenda with Steve Paikin
  • Mental illness and the workplace – CBC – Newfoundland
  • Supervisor Tips: Understanding the Stigma of Mental IllnessCommunity Health Charities
  • The Workplace – Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – Disclosure, employment gaps, 2014 Education Program
  • Software company hires autistic adults for specialized skills– Google, genome data, SAP software, Asperger’s, skills, intelligence, memory, social skills, stress, patterns, repetitive, detail, quality control, testing, data analysis, talent, clear goals, direct communication, empathy, Autism Speaks, Thorkil Sonne, Jose Velasco – CBS News
  • Adults with ADHD: What Do We Know? What Do They Need? – organization, time management, late, context, attention span, interest deficit, focus, impulsivity, social skills, cutting people off during conversations, panel discussion following the documentary “A Mind Like Mine.”
  • Honoring the stories of illness – Humanity lesson from a medical professional – Understanding the meaning in the narratives of others, clarity and understanding gained when we “listen;” letting go of judgment – Dr. Rita Charon at TEDxAtlanta
  • Educating the Whole Child and Adult with Emotional Literacy – Social Emotional Learning (SEL) – Marc Brackett – Attention and learning, decision making, relationships, mental and physical health.  Self-regulation, strategies to manage our emotional lives.  Emotional Literacy Training. 
  • Better Is Not Well 2014 – When a person is out of immediate risk and able to function in most day-to-day activities, the assumption is often made that treatment success has been achieved.  Further steps are necessary to facilitate complete well-being.  While the person’s condition may have improved greatly, they are still living with residual symptoms of their condition and/or not living to their full potential.  When people are better, co-occurring conditions are more likely, and there is greater risk of suicide.  Time for ongoing treatment is necessary to achieve wellness. 
  • Understanding Agitation: Personal Stories – Agitation is a state of unease accompanied by excessive talking and/or unintentional and purposeless motions, like wringing the hands or pacing. It manifests in a broad spectrum.  People with mood disorders may be more disposed to experiencing agitation. This video illustrates the way agitation impacts life, provides tips and information on supporting and treating an individual experiencing agitation, and identifies wellness strategies that have helped peers live successfully. 
  • The next frontier in workplace diversity: brain differences – We are on the cusp of a civil rights movement for workers on the autism spectrum and those who have conditions like ADHD and dyslexia. Companies and managers at many companies have already begun to take note. About 2% of the population has an atypical neurological structure. – Fortune  A
  • Take the Sting Out of Feedback – Research reveals feedback may be dangerous to your health. How to make it less painful for employees – ASTD – Research about the neurobiology of feedback, why it can do more harm than good.  How to minimize defensiveness, and increase acceptance.  Mental and physical, physiological, emotional effects.  Feedback Techniques, Behavior Change.  Researchers find relationship between positive to negative thoughts, feelings, and behavior can predict how effectively teams function and produce great results.  Oxytocin – role in facilitating trust and collaboration.  Performance feedback. Kenneth Nowack, PhD, Nathan DeWall, Naomi Eisenberger, Shelley Taylor, social economist Paul Zak, Avraham N. Kluger, Angelo DeNisi, James Smither, Barbara Fredrickson.  A
  • New mental disorders could lead to spike in ADA claims – HR Hero – Diversity Insight  A
  • That’s ADHD Again? You Don’t Say! – Listen closely and hear the effects of ADHD on communication. More apparent with young children, but affects adults with ADHD as well (similar to those with Autism). Speech, Communication, Pragmatics, Impulsivity, Speaking too loudly – Psychology Today  A
  • Be Aware of Disabilities, Whether Visible or Not – SHRM  A
  • Living with ADHD and SPD: An Adult’s Perspective – Sensory Processing Disorder, coping strategies – SPD Foundation  A
  • Social Skills and Adults with Learning Disabilities – LDOnline – Henry B. Reiff  A
  • For Mental Health, Bad Job Worse than No Job – Health  A
  • Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform – ADT – Dr. Ed Hallowell, Brain – Harvard Business Review    A
  • Mental or Physical Illness–Which is the Bigger Workforce Problem? – Harvard Business Review  A
  • Managing staff with mental ill-health – Our mental health can fluctuate on a spectrum.  Mental health problems can affect all of us, as a result of experiences in our work and personal lives.  People can recover completely from an episode of mental illness, and may be more resilient in future.  Managers can benefit from adopting an early intervention approach.  Addresses – Role of the line manager, Spotting signs of stress or illness, Handling disclosure, Planning ahead, Absence, Performance, Career development, Recruitment and selection, Tips for talking about mental health concerns – Equality and Diversity UAS – University of Oxford.  A
  • To the Person Reviewing My Resume, From an Applicant With a Mental Illness – The Mighty  ß
  • Empathy Found Lacking in Most Managers – Lee Hecht Harrison – delivers Career Transition and Outplacement, Leadership Development, Employee Engagement and Change Management solutions.
  • Proven Strategies for Addressing Unconscious Bias in the Workplace – Diversity Best Practices.  Globalism, cultural intelligence, cultural flexibility, inherent human tendency toward bias, and unconscious organizational patterns impact the way employees, vendors, and customers relate to each other.
  • Employment Webinar: Road to Recovery: Best Practices and Financing Strategies for Supported Employment – NAMI
  • From survive to thrive: How to get people flourishing whatever the pressure – Productivity is down, stress-related illness and claims are up; good people are leaving big companies for an easier way of life.  “Overwhelmed employees” are one of the most pressing business challenges today, yet the pressure to deliver more with less continues.  This webinar addresses what leaders can do; false assumptions related to “work-life balance;” why some employees thrive, while others don’t even survive; how to equip people so they are better at looking after themselves and those they work with; and why focusing on managers is the most cost-effective way to build a resilient organization.
  • Addressing Depression in the Workplace – Right Direction – Tools and resources.  Partnership for Workplace Mental Health – APA – American Psychiatric Foundation.  Business Case for taking action, share stories, how to take action.  Prevalence, lost productivity, work impairment, absenteeism, treatable, early treatment, disability claims, top five reason for disability claims, chronic, ongoing treatment, sleep problems, concentration, decisions, self-medication, addiction, absenteeism, presenteeism, irritability.  
Training and Development
  • Understanding the Social World, What We Don’t Know We Know, and Why Individuals with Autism Appear to Speak a Different Language – Context, Semantics, Communication, and Collaboration.  Meeting in the Middle.  Susan Ehlerman Brennan works with individuals with social cognitive challenges, their families, and professionals to foster dynamic communication, build awareness of cognitive differences (vs. deficits), and encourage interest & strength-based supports.  While created to address adolescent challenges, this video provides valuable insight into some of the perceptual differences of adults on the spectrum, along with the “neurotypicals” we interact with on a daily basis. 
  • Don’t Let a Bully Boss Affect Your Mental Health – Bullying can be part of a complex set of dynamics; however, four components of emotional intelligence can help employees in protecting themselves from workplace bullies.  A
  • 2015 Instructional Design Trends Compass: Calling IDs to Action – Brain science is an important and evolving field, which is having an impact on instructional design trends, and provides insight into how to personalize instruction.  Adaptive engines and approaches can serve to  accommodate the needs and abilities of different learners, and can change or adapt in real time to learners’ inputs and location.  eLearning Industry.  A
  • The Onboarding Experience Matters To Your Future Employees – The onboarding experience is a personal one, from the act of bringing people together, to the team building, to introductions to brand advocates.  New employees are treated as people from the outset, increasing the probability that they’ll be engaged immediately, and remain engaged, as they disperse throughout the company to their respective offices.  Forbes  A
  • Workplace Culture Leaders Humanize The Onboarding Process – Is formal employee orientation a thing of the past in this everything-social and digital world?  The choice between traditional and social processes is not always black and white, of course.  Learning styles differ from person to person and from company to company.  Forbes   A
  • Training Employees with Special Needs – employees with special needs must have the same development opportunities as everyone else.   Adults with special needs are growing at a faster rate than the general population.  The key to accessing this under-tapped workforce, requires eliminating internal barriers, including those accommodations that can help maximize the training of employees with special needs and/or “hidden disabilities,” which can disrupt their ability to learn and/or perform expected job requirements.  Chief Learning Officer A
  • Inside the Learning Brain – Cognitive neuroscience will shape the future of corporate learning practices.  During the past decade numerous peer-reviewed publications have connected the fields of neuroscience with education and learning. Several studies report structural and functional changes in the brain related to training. A working understanding of how the brain learns and performs is an invaluable new skill. TD Magazine – Talent Development.  A
  • Smart Training: A Learner-Guided Approach – Rather than define learning as formal or informal, why not provide learners directions that guide them to learn job competencies – especially, through job-based experiences?  With employees becoming more diverse; self-directed and self-paced learning strategies, which recognize the differences in how they learn and the time needed to do so, will  reduce costs and increase retention.  Training – the source for professional development.  A
  • Social skills training – Social skills training has been shown to be effective in treating patients with a broad range of emotional problems and diagnoses. Some of the disorders include: shyness, adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, social phobia , alcohol dependence, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, developmental disabilities, personality disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  A
  • Smarter Together: Emotional Intelligence with Diversity Inclusion – Since Daniel Goleman published Emotional Intelligence, this concept has helped us appreciate the multiple types of intelligence, and recognize EQ is actually a better predictor of success than cognitive intelligence.  Long-term effectiveness requires interacting with others, building relationships, promoting collaboration and having the requisite resilience to deal with the inevitable obstacles that occur.  ASTD – ATD (Association for Talent Development).  ß
  • Building a Productive Learning Culture – Organizations must shift their emphasis from learning participation to learning productivity. They need to build a productive learning culture. ASTD – ATD (Association for Talent Development).  ß
  • Understanding Developmental Needs – Helping Your People Reach Peak Performance – Everyone on your team is unique; they have different skills, different levels of understanding, and different responsibilities and objectives.  Steps for Identifying Developmental Needs. Mind Tools 
  • Performance management: get it right – Webinar – Mindgym – 85% of companies either just have or are just about to change their performance management system.  While this webinar is geared toward all employees; it reinforces the impact performance management techniques have on mental health, as well as performance, and highlights the ways in which employees respond differently to stress, and the importance of differentiating performance management.  It explores  1.  Why focusing on the individual, not the system, is key to creating a high performing culture,  2. The six psychological conditions that turn employees into high performers,  3. The role the employee needs to play, as well as their manager, to create these conditions,  4. Practical steps to start building a higher performing business straight away.    
Tools for Employee Success
Creativity and Mental Illness
  • Connecting strength and vulnerability of the creative brain – Why have so many creative minds suffered from mental illness? The physical differences in the brains of writers and other highly accomplished individuals are explored. – 80% of great writers had mood disorders within their families, along with a high degree of creativity – they teach themselves (autodidacts), are extremely persistent even in the face of rejection, many deep interests, rather than one. Mentally individuals can be hugely successful if they receive accommodations that match their educational style.  Nancy Andreasen, Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa, has devoted decades of study to the physical differences in the brains of writers and other highly accomplished individuals – PBS NewsHour
  • “The Surprising Link Between Suffering & Success” – Talks at Google. Lee Daniel Kravetz, David B Feldman – Supersurvivors – Bounce back and bounce forward. Trama, hope, positive psychology. Post traumatic growth.  Grounded Hope. Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT). Perception of support, values, rules. Some say, “I feel like I’ve lived through the worst thing I could possibly imagine, nothing else is scary.  Now I am willing to take risks, I can handle anything.” 
  • That Good Feeling of Control – TEDxStudioCityED – Cheryl Arutt, PsyD – Exploring Self-Regulation, Trauma and Creativity self-regulation as the basis for mental health, how trauma disrupts this, and ways new technology and discoveries are creating exciting opportunities to teach, learn and treasure what one self-regulation pioneer referred to as “that good feeling of control.”  Neuroscience, Freud, faith, dysregulation,  brain, fight or flight 
  • Epidemic of Acquiescence excerpt from Alfie Kohn – compliance and obedience, maybe the rules not justified, good individuals are those eager to please those in authority.  Perhaps the real cause for concern is those who fail to question, think critically, respond with appropriate measure of independent thought, and question authority.  Silent epidemic of obedience.  Successful socialization.  Reflective rebelliousness.  
  • Becoming a mad scientist with your life – Todd Kashdan at TEDxUtrecht – Creativity,  anxiety, self-doubt, curiosity, Self-criticism, relationships, explore, evolve.  Value of uncomfortable feelings.  Cutting  edge science to help people function optimally in business and life.  Strategies for cultivating happiness and meaning in life, a better understanding of psychological strengths and how to best use them, a better capacity to tolerate pain and uncertainty, psychological flexibility, and finding fulfillment in relationships, work.  Don’t be an “expert.” 
  • Secrets of the Creative Brain – The Atlantic  A
  • Dyslexia Documentary Explains Entrepreneur Link – Bloomberg BusinessWeek  A
  • Is Grit Stifling Our Creativity? – The Creativity Post  A
  • Creativity and Depression – Psych Central – Douglas Eby  A
  • The Real Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness – Scientific American – Scott Barry Kaufman.  ß
  • Robin Williams followed the path of the creative genius – and chose to leave us – FlyingHighSolo.com  ß
  • Creativity, Sensitivity and Suffering – “Creating art has always been a way to channel emotional intensity…If you are an artist, you are your instrument. The greater access you maintain to yourself, the richer and broader your array of creative tools.” 
Personal Stories of Success and Inspiration
  • Profiles of Hope – General Hospital actor, Maurice Benard, talks about living with bipolar disorder – produced bLos Angeles County Department of Mental Health
  • Am I still Autistic? John Hall at – TEDxManhattanBeach
  • Brad Cohen – Tourette’s Syndrome – Award Speech – Teacher, Assistant Principle
  • How we suppress genius and create learning disability – labels, dyslexia, adhd, learning style, injustice, Tedx
  • “Back From the Edge” – Borderline Personality Disorder – New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Choose strength not shame: Ben Foss – TEDxSonomaCounty 
  • Chiara de Blasio Tells Her Story – Mayor De Blasio’s Daughter Reveals Substance Abuse.   Recovery from depression, anxiety and substance enabled her to participate in her father’s Mayoral campaign.  Mr. de Blasio’s father was an alcoholic who battled depression.  Her mother, Chirlane McCray, had been a child of parents struggling with depression.  Alchoholism and drug addition are diseases.  People are suffering.  We can’t do anything as a society until we start talking about it.  Be honest, open, and willing.  OK2Talk.org 
  • Jesse Saperstein – Keeping it Kind – Jesse discusses his experience having Asperger Syndrome and empowers students to take a stand against bullying. Jesse started a campaign called “Lessons In Compassion” to combat bullying in schools.  
  • 14 Amazing Women With Autism – slideshow and Temple Grandin video. 
  • Stephen Shore – Keeping it Strong – Stephen shares his belief that a student’s strengths and interests are integral to the school experience.  He charges teachers to find creative ways to recognize and incorporate these passions.  Autism and special education.  Focus on strengths and connect them to possible areas of employment to give back to society and lead a happy and fulfilling life. 
  • Zosia Saks – Keeping it True – Autism – Spectrum of  difference among all people.  We can model for students with disabilities, and those without that these different ways of living and thinking all have value.  Diversity is a good thing.  Zosia developed a self-advocacy curriculum to help empower students to express their needs and problem solve with members of their community.  He explores sensory, regulation, and communication differences and teaches three “action steps” for students to advocate for themselves. 
  • Businessman shares struggles with mental health – “A Dialogue on Mental Health in the Business Community” – Robin Williams, Steve Colton, Turning Point, Creating Community Solutions, and NAMI.   A
  • New York City’s First Lady Shares Family History as She Unveils Push on Mental Health Care – The New York Times  A
  • Self-Advocacy Saved My Life – Andee Joyce was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at 44 years old.  A
  • My Chronic Illness Just Happens to Be in My Head – “Mental illness.” Yes, I have it. But I’m not crazy. My illness doesn’t define me.  ß
  • Front of the Class – Full Movie – Brad Cohen – Teacher with Tourette’s Syndrome.  
  • Olympian-turned-Vegas escort Suzy Favor Hamilton shares her story – CBC Radio – She grew up running in small town America and became an Olympic darling . And when she began a secret life, she was just as competitive. Suzy Favor Hamilton became one of Las Vegas’s most sought after escorts. She shares her story in “Fast Girl.” 
Biographies – Books
Non-Fiction Books – Practical Information
  • The Depression Cure – Stephen S. Ilardi, Ph.D. <
  • Bipolar Disorder – A Guide for Patients & Families – Francis Mark Mondimore M.D.<
  • Driven to Distraction – Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder – Edward M. Hallowell M.D. and John J. Ratey M.D. <
  • Social Thinking at Work – Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke –  “Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough.” <
  • Lost at School – Dr. Ross W. Greene – written to address the needs of students with challenging behavior; Greene’s valuable insights can be translated to the workplace to provide an explanation as to why individuals demonstrate maladaptive behavior, and suggestions as to how employers can collaborate with employees to resolve the issues, which result in conflict.  Greene suggests identifying the skills an individual lacks to respond adaptively, along with the expectations they are having difficulty meeting (the conditions in which the behavior occurs), and subsequently helping them to proactively solve those problems to prevent future misbehavior.  <
  • Odd One Out: The Maverick’s Guide to Adult ADD – Jennifer Koretsky – Adults with ADD struggle to fit into a world that doesn’t always fit them.  Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder can be both challenging and rewarding.  Break the cycle of overwhelm to taking control of space and time.  <

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

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© October 2015


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