The American Psychiatric Association’s Center for Workplace Mental Health has developed a website full of educational information, case studies, and resources to help employers fight distorted perceptions and behavioral health stigma in the workplace. Follow the “Sources” link for their Employee Resources page, which features a calculator for calculating the monetary importance of prioritizing mental health in your workplace, an awareness campaign designed to reduce stigma around mental health, tools for addressing depression in the workplace, and the opportunity to sign up for their monthly Mental Health Works newsletter. Addictions materials are available in the tabs near the top of the page.
“Ideally your employer is recognizing that ‘mental health and physical health are closely connected.... But you as an employee can do a number of things to advocate for yourself.” Hint: This includes fighting both internal and external distorted perceptions. Click the title for the entire article “How to talk about mental health issues at work” from NBC News.
“Over half of people surveyed said that they had not been hired because of their mental illness.” Despite the survey being based in Australia, we’ve heard similar patterns of distorted perceptions and sentiments of discrimination expressed in the U.S. as well. Click the title for the full article "People with a mental illness discriminated against when looking for work and when employed" from The Conversation.
“‘It is possible that unemployment causes poor health conditions such as depression, or it could be that having such conditions makes it harder to land a job.’ Or, if intuition will be allowed to supplement data, it could be a lot of both.” Click the title for the full article "The Mental Health Consequences of Unemployment" from The Atlantic to to learn more.
“A job search is a stressful proposition, and during the application process the question hits us like a ton of bricks: do you have any disabilities that will require accommodations to be made?” Click the title for the full article as Healthy Place details how the Americans with Disabilities Act covers this issue, and how distorted perceptions and stigma around mental illness may influence your decision.
This England-based nonprofit is working to fight Distorted Perceptions around mental health in the workplace by engaging employers directly by helping them create a plan of action and holding them accountable through the Employer Pledge. “When you sign the Employer Pledge you demonstrate your commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace and make sure that employees who are facing these problems feel supported.” Time to Change also offers employers a Communications Pack filled with workplace anti-stigma activities, campaigns and engagement ideas: useful things no matter where you are in the world! Click the title to check them out.
In 2016, the National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC) and the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business partnered “to equip the next generation of business leaders with awareness and skills to promote workplace mental health and participate in improving access to care.” Click the title for the full article on how they are challenging Distorted Perceptions through their curriculum and how they got MBA students around the world thinking about strategies to address stigma and mental health in the workplace.
“The truth is, many people living with mental health conditions are productive, reliable employees and leaders who live full and satisfying lives. But even in the most progressive workplaces, many employees keep their conditions secret. They may be afraid that being open about them will hurt their reputation, compromise work relationships, or even jeopardize their job.” Click the title for the full article from Kaiser Permanente "Reducing mental health stigma in the workplace" for more stats and tips for changing workplace culture.
“My first day returning to work after being treated for a severe opiate addiction was one of the most daunting moments of my life. Everyone in the office, from my manager to the administrative assistants, knew that forged prescriptions and criminal charges were the reason I had been let go from my previous job. My mind was spinning. What would my coworkers think of me? Who would want to work alongside an “addict”? Would they ever come to trust me? Did I even deserve to be here?” Click the title for the full article from the Harvard Health Blog on one physician’s experience with transitioning back to work after addiction treatment.
“There are many effective actions that organizations can take to promote mental health in the workplace [and] such actions may also benefit productivity.” Click the title for the full article "Mental health in the workplace" from the World Health Organization to find information on steps, interventions, and best practices that organizations can use to create a healthy workplace.