Mental Health in the Workplace Level 2 (VTQ)
About the Course
There are many social and cultural attitudes to mental illness. Some people may view mental illnesses as a sign of weakness or be suspicious of people with mental illnesses. Others might feel sorry for those with mental illnesses or believe that anyone can overcome any form of setback if they put their mind to it. There is no single opinion on how best to deal with someone with a mental illness, as the approach will depend on the individual and the situation involved.
Mental health discrimination can take many forms, including refusing to hire someone because of a disability, such as depression, making assumptions about someone's mental state, or mocking them. Finding work compatible with their conditions and culture can be challenging for people with mental health problems. Employers may not understand the needs of employees with mental health problems and may not have any training on how to support them.
What are the several steps that employers can take to create a healthy workplace for employees with mental health problems:
· Educate yourself about mental illness issues and how they might affect your workplace.
·Ensure you know your legal obligations regarding workers' rights and mental health discrimination.
· Create a mental health-compatible workplace policy. This should include details such as how long employees with mental health problems can take leave, their support at work, and how complaints will be handled.
· Ensure all employees receive training in healthily dealing with mental illness. This should cover stress management, coping mechanisms, and workplace etiquette.
· Ensure that your HR department has policies and procedures for responding to allegations of discrimination or harassment related to mental illness. · Keep up-to-date with changes to mental health legislation in your jurisdiction. This will help you understand your legal obligations and how best to comply with them.
· Speak to employees affected by mental illness about their experiences, and listen carefully. You can also offer support resources, such as counselling or disability services. . · Celebrate the successes of employees with mental health problems, and be understanding when things get tough.
If an employee is feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work, it is often helpful to take a break. Taking time away from the office is all it takes to clear your head and come back with fresh ideas. If breaks don't help, consider seeking professional assistance: many clinicians specialise in working with people with mental illness. Mental health parity
Mental illness is no different from any other medical condition. Just as with physical ailments, mental illness must be treated with the same care and resources as any other medical condition. In some cases, this means that an employer must provide equal or greater accommodations to employees with mental illnesses than those provided to employees without physical disabilities.
This is known as "mental health parity." There are many instances where mental health-related accommodation requirements exist in law: for example, civil rights laws protect people with psychiatric disabilities from discrimination in hiring, firing, promotions and compensation. The UK equality act protects employees from discrimination based on mental illness.
Some employers have chosen to review and change their policies or procedures to accommodate an employee with mental illness. But before making changes, it's essential to consult with a legal expert to see if there are any specific requirements in your state or federal law that you need to consider. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with mental illness, just as they would for employees without disabilities. What is most important to bear in mind when making accommodations:
1) Accommodations should be explicitly tailored to the individual employee's needs.
2) Accommodations should not impose an undue burden on the employer or create an unworkable situation.
3) Appropriate adjustments may include modifications to work schedules, job duties, communication methods and physical spaces. When an employee with a mental illness requests accommodations, the employer should first assess what type of accommodation would be most appropriate. Disability laws usually require employers to make reasonable adjustments to working conditions to ensure that employees with disabilities have an equal opportunity to perform their jobs. However, there are some limitations on what types of adjustments an employer can make. For example, employers may be unable to adjust work hours or duties more than is necessary for the individual's disability.
It's also essential for employers and employees to remember that any changes made need not be permanent – they should be considered individually and adapted as needed. If you are an employer and you have questions about whether your accommodations are reasonable or not, please consult with a legal expert. It is best to consider current legislations affecting employees' mental health and wellbeing when reviewing company policies that govern how accommodations are made. If you feel like your employer is not providing appropriate accommodations, it may be helpful to speak with an HR professional or disability rights attorney about your specific situation.