You have depression? Oh my!! You are dysfunctional!!

The thing every employer thinks when their employee tells them that they have a mental health problem. In some companies, employees with mental illnesses are classified as disabilities. I speak for all employees with a condition when I say, we would rather “suck it up” and deal with it ourselves than share it with our employers. Society judges mental health and treats it like this non-existent unicorn fairy-tale. Hey sweet cheeks, our mental health is just as important to us as your over priced car and fancy suit. We will just like to let you know, we are capable and not disabled.

When the situation arises in a workplace that the employee must go for therapy, the employer starts “lightening” their load. Hey asshole!! You are the reason the condition, we have is getting worse. For some of us, we throw ourselves into our work to avoid the problem. Up until a certain point, work is the only we live for. The only thing keeping us from falling apart. Stop treating employees with mental illnesses like they have incurable disease. You won’t lose your employee. You just need to understand that he/she is going through a rough patch. You need to understand, that taking work and responsibilities away from us is not “lightening” our load but making us feel worthless. He/she will reach out to you if they can’t cope with their work load.

To employers whose employees have been admitted to psychiatric hospitals and mental health clinics. We are not dead. We might not be present in the office or at meetings, but we are still present. Instead of destroying someone’s hard work, why don’t you use our wonderful 21st century technology, pick up a phone and give them a fucking call? From a business perspective, I understand completely, the show must go on but think before you act. After being discharged from a psychiatric hospital/mental health clinic, we need to readjust to things. We can’t just pick up where we left off. There might be some adjustment issues but don’t bombard your employee on their first day back. Give them some space. Don’t look at them like there’s something wrong with them, instead make them feel welcome.

Meaning and purpose is two very important words I have learnt whilst admitted in a psychiatric hospital. Every person on this earth needs meaning and purpose. Sometimes, work gives us that purpose and meaning. Why would you want to destroy us by taking it away? For starters, in many countries, it is against the law and counts as discrimination. However, the mental health of employees is never considered. You as a top shot don’t acknowledge their work of effort until they “break”. You just see them as numbers. Like I said, for most of us, our jobs give us meaning and purpose. Don’t take it away.

Now for the fun part, for all those dick heads out there refusing us new projects and promotions when we have admitted we have a condition. What do you expect your employee to do? Run like a hamster in a never-ending wheel and know that he/she will never get a promotion, which causes the condition to get worse? Or would you like to see change in the employee and maybe challenge him in some fields and see him/her improve in their lives? Support your goddamn employees!! They are the reason you own a holiday house in Hawaii.

From a business perspective, I understand that you need to make money and keep the show running but consider your employees. Personally, I understand the struggle when you are super busy and all of a sudden, your employee admits to having depression. As a manager, I care more for my employees than most of their families do. Create a safe space for your employees with an “open door” policy where they can come to you knowing that what they tell you won’t affect their position or future with the company. If the employee must be admitted to a facility, let them be admitted. Don’t hold it against them all the time and encourage their therapy. After all, their workplace does play a big role in their therapy and progress. Send them flowers if you must!! But stop discriminating against people with mental illnesses. Every single living human being on this planet has mental health. Some handle situations different than others, so stop judging, you prude.

Encourage healthy habits, therapy, time off, instead of just thinking that they are losing their minds and that they are destructive. Some people don’t have anything else but the relationships they have at their workplace. For all you know your employee is counting on his/her workplace to support them.

Moral of the story and the rant, stop being a dick to your staff because of their mental health conditions. If you need a better explanation on mental health, please visit my blog often for tips and updates. Otherwise, go see a professional and see how you can improve mental health awareness in your workplace.

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