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Painted Brain | Mental Health And Work Force Equality
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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A room of cubicles in an office

Mental Health and Work Force Equality


Creating more equality in the workforce brings with it many challenges. On the other hand, there are also many benefits that accompany more equality in the work environment. Those struggling with mental disabilities have started to see an easier transition into the labor force and greater awareness towards those with mental disabilities since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.

Not only does our country benefit from an expansion of our labor diversity but also from creating an internationally attractive labor market. Requiring special accommodations to assist those with mental challenges does not have to be intimidating or too costly for employers.

Although recent laws do require that reasonable accommodations be provided for those with health issues, the benefits of accommodating outweigh the cost. Employers and employees can see this evolution as a very good thing.

Accommodations Lead to Better Communication and Productivity

Better communication between employer and employee is one of the benefits. When employees feel welcome to voice their health concerns and needs for safer and productive methods of doing the work the employer expects to be done, it bridges the gap of understanding between both of them. Bridging communication gaps in the work environment facilities a healthier and safer environment that enables greater collaboration and compliance between both parties.

Not only does communication play a key role in a successful business but also open communication nourishes greater productivity. When those that have been given special accommodations to work feel valued they naturally tend to bring more effort and creativity that yields greater input and productivity by employees and employers.

The Law Protects Your Right to Accommodations

In some situations, employers might not be so flexible. Those with disabilities might fear being belittled or worst, fear of even losing their jobs for requesting accommodations. But the law does state that those with disabilities such as bipolar or severe anxiety have a right to request accommodations. An employee should also feel respected and that their privacy will be protected.

Another concern comes up when getting a job. When transitioning into a job during interviews employees are not obligated to answer and disclose their disabilities with the employer. Many times it is the fear of not being hired in the first place that holds back many talented employees back from stepping into the labor force.

After a job is offered you can give information on how your disability might require certain reasonable accommodations, whether it is with work schedule changes or production-related changes or even some time off. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act people that face extreme episodes or worsening symptoms in their conditions might qualify to take time off.

Those with mental disabilities are starting to see a wider path toward jobs that will fit their abilities. Professional career paths for those with mental disabilities are also becoming more open. Regardless of where employees seek employment the challenges for accommodations are widely more welcome than in previous times.

Whether it is requesting more preparation, training or requesting work-related changes or requesting more specific things employees have a right to communicate their needs.

Resources:

Waltz, M. (2018). Coping with Work Issues and Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/coping-with-work-issues-and-bipolar-disorder/

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