How to Discuss Your Mental Health With Your Boss
When we start a new job, we think about issues such as health benefits, vacation pay and 401K options, but we never think about what would happen if you were diagnosed with a mental health disorder. How do you discuss your condition or any needs you may have with your boss? You may feel extremely nervous about navigating this type of conversation, but you can do this and there is no shame in asking for what you need when it comes to your mental health. Here are some tips and facts to help you get started.
Decide If You’re Ready
If your mental health is starting to interfere with your work and ability to do your job, then chances are you’ll need to speak with your boss. But sometimes, deciding to discuss your mental health with your employer is not as cut and dry. Sometimes, you may just need a few hours a week for additional therapy sessions. Deciding when the time is right to disclose your mental health issue (and why) can help you become mentally prepared for what lies ahead.
Find The Right Place and Time To Talk
Make sure you find a comfortable and safe space to talk to your boss. Depending upon the relationship you have with your employer, you may want to book a private meeting or maybe talk over coffee. Pick a time of day when things aren’t hectic so that you can ease into the conversation. If you and your boss have poor communication, you may want to visit the HR department first. Oftentimes, HR is far better trained and equipped to assist in these matters.
Discuss What You Need
Plan what your needs are before you speak with your boss. Ask yourself questions such as:
- What is an ideal work setting you need to be the most productive at your job? Do you need to work from home?
- What days/times of the week do you need therapy?
- Are there programs at work that can accommodate your mental health needs?
Having the answers to these questions and others will give you the confidence to tackle this issue as well as great insight into what your needs are from your employer.
Know Your Rights
Regardless of the conversation, you have legal rights in this matter. Consult The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)website to see what your rights are when it comes to requests for accommodations at work. The ADA also has an informative “Facts Vs. Myth” page on mental health conditions and the workplace that you may want your employer to review. This factsheet demystifies many common misconceptions about people with mental health disorders and their ability to successfully perform at work. Until we can shift or stop the stigma of mental illness, it’s important to educate others and understand your rights in the workplace.
Mental Health Disorders and Addiction
A diagnosis of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or other types of serious psychiatric conditions commonly occurs concurrently with addiction. That’s why Daylight Recovery Services offers specialized drug treatment programs, as well as inpatient drug treatment, to help those living with co-occurring disorders.
If you or someone you love is ready to start down the right path to sobriety, Daylight Recovery is here to help. Contact Daylight Recovery Services today at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT.