Managing Mental Health Problems At Work

What about the labor market integration of people with mental illness? When we are concerned, whether we are looking for a job or already hired, should we talk about it? How to behave with a colleague with a mental illness?

Integration into the labor market

A small part of the population suffers from serious disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. People with severe illness are six to seven times more likely to be unemployed than others. Often the disease causes a discontinuity in the CV, in addition, the treatments taken can have significant side effects. Integrating these people can be difficult, but many of them manage to keep their jobs.

For the integration to be easier, it is better that the motivation, the desire to work, come from the sick person. After having had different experiences, she will know what type of job, what hours, what mode of operation, etc … best suit her lifestyle. This is when it will be easier to find and keep a job.

On the other hand, when an employer knows that one of his employees has or has had a mental health problem, it is better that he be advised and helped by professionals in the field of mental health to better manage the problem. situation.

If the illness has consequences on the worker’s aptitude, the employer must provide for temporary or permanent adaptations (staggered hours, part-time, recognition, organization of tasks with the superior, supervision, etc.), often recommended by the occupational physician , or requested by the employee in need. Existing mental health problems can be made worse by poor working conditions.

Behavior to adopt with the sick person

A person with mental illness does not want to be a burden on others and be dependent on someone. She is afraid of rejection and is often very vulnerable to stress. She can also easily lose confidence in her abilities and may even fear losing her purpose.

Notice that a person shows signs of instability (confusion, inability to make decisions, inability to communicate, hallucinations, change in behavior, etc.), can embarrass, shock, frighten, upset … The most important thing is to help that person. this. To intervene, it is necessary to act as follows:

  • establish a bond of trust
  • to be calm
  • take his time
  • showing empathy
  • show communication research
  • avoid threatening
  • do not laugh
  • do not minimize the situation
  • not claim to feel, see, hear the same things
  • set limits to certain behaviors
  • do not wait for the situation to get worse

Talking about your condition during a job interview

There is no obligation to talk about your health problems during a job interview. It all depends on the current state of health and the work in question (Can the condition affect work and professional relations?). If the person is stable, then he is able to work and there is therefore no point in reporting it.

Talk about your problems

Talking spontaneously about your illness to your colleagues is not advisable. Indeed, mental disorders are poorly known or generally understood, so rumors can be spread, words distorted and prejudices put forward. There is no need for a person to confide as long as their situation is manageable, they are undergoing treatment and are supervised by health professionals.

If you have a mental illness and want to tell your colleagues, a specialist can help you prepare this announcement, so that you can clearly explain the situation, without saying too much, so that there is no no misunderstanding.