What communicators need to know about accommodations for mental illness

Whether you need help guiding a team member or employee or you need help yourself, here’s the details.

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Reasonable accommodations for mental health

Over the past two years, the conversation about mental health has changed. In many ways this is positive, recognizing that nearly all people go through stretches that challenge their mental wellness including increased anxiety, stress, depression or burnout. Understanding these often-temporary difficulties is crucial in building an empathetic, wellness-focused workplace.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, we should also remember those with diagnosed mental illnesses that aren’t temporary. Even when well-controlled with medication, therapy or other treatments, those who live with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and a host of other mental illnesses can require – and are entitled to – reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

These accommodations often go beyond telling someone to take advantage of an EAP or to take a bonus wellness day for self-care. They can require changes to workplaces, workflows and more. But it’s more than just the law: it’s the right thing to do for people who deserve a chance to succeed like anyone.

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