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how understanding are employers re. mental health?

M

mebiscuitsinmebrew

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Jul 29, 2009
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hi all, just looking for a bit of advice and perhaps that will make me less anxious.

i work in a call center for a big bank re. credit cards. i'm good at my job. i've been employee of the month and i'm consistently the top seller. i've been noticed, i've exceeded my targets etc etc.

my bosses know of my depression, they knew i took mon. off to see a psychiatrist. i pulled a sickie yesterday cuz i just couldn't face going into work and had a day off today anyway.

i'm just worried that taking one day off is going to look bad. my big boss has been sympathetic before and when i had a melt down at work once she asked if i was ok and that if i felt like it again to go and find her and she'd see what she could do to help.

my old team leader hasn'tbeen esp understanding. he had a meeting with me before and told me my attitude stinks. yes perhaps it does, on a bad day at least.

sorry for rambling, but i just don't know how to deal with my friends at work, my emotional ups and downs, and just everything. i don't want to quit or lose my job cuz i'd be much unhappier without it. any advice would be greatly appreciated.. if you can make sense of anything i'm saying!
 
DiagnosisBipolar2

DiagnosisBipolar2

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The answer to that is how long is a piece of string. Some are understanding some are not. A recent survey that was conducted amongst employers stated that only 4 out of 10 employers would employ someone with a Mental Health issue. It seems the Disability Discrimination Act has By-passed these ignorant people.

Have a look at this link:

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/home/
 
gray

gray

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Any action they take against you for your mental health problems would probably be discrimination. Perhaps you could remind your team leader of that before he opens his mouth talking nonsense again.

You should be fine aslong as you aren't violent / aggressive or considered a hazard to other people e.g. make dangerous mistakes that may physically harm others and / or yourself.

I don't want to scare you but just be careful, some companies can be a bit shady and attempt to make up reasons in order to get rid of sick workers. Aslong as you know yourself you are doing a good job when you are in work, then I would imagine you'll be fine. If so and they decided to sack you, then in court your employers probably wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on anyway.
 
gray

gray

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The answer to that is how long is a piece of string. Some are understanding some are not. A recent survey that was conducted amongst employers stated that only 4 out of 10 employers would employ someone with a Mental Health issue. It seems the Disability Discrimination Act has By-passed these ignorant people.

Have a look at this link:

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/home/
Yes but that is about employing someone with a mental health issue. It would be very difficult to prove you wern't offered the job because of discrimination due to your mental health. The employer can easily make things up.

Mebiscuit is already employed however and as such it would be far harder for her employers to make things up.

As a follow up to my previous post... Mebiscuit, if it seems like you are being targeted for your mental health, then write down every conversation someone has with you where you feel they are unfairly treating you. If worse comes to worse, you will have notes about what your employers have been saying to you to easily call back upon if needed.
 
DiagnosisBipolar2

DiagnosisBipolar2

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Mebiscuit is already employed however and as such it would be far harder for her employers to make things up.
.
You really belive that? It happens almost every day of the week. If employers want to get rid of you they will find an excuse. Of course they wont openly discriminate but they will and do find a way around the legislation.
 
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gray

gray

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or you could put things into a negative spin to make Mebiscuit worry :innocent:

:D
 
DiagnosisBipolar2

DiagnosisBipolar2

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or you could put things into a negative spin to make Mebiscuit worry :innocent:

:D
Sorry I was thinking out loud *slaps wrist* must stop being so cynical.


Mebiscuit i'm sure in your case things will be fine hun.
 
M

mebiscuitsinmebrew

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thankyou all for your comments, was helpful to get some other views about it all.

turns out i was worrying over nothing ... typical me really! things weren't mentioned.

is it best to keep my bipolarness quiet tho?
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Both my previous employer and my current employer know about my MH problems. My previous employer let me go to all my appts during work time and even wanted me back after being in hospital and six months off sick. I left my job in the end of my own volition.

I told my current employer about my problems before I started working for them and they still employed me (even after more than two years off sick). However I did go for another job before then and as soon as they heard about my MH issues they all of a sudden 'had other people to interview' when I knew they had none. And I didn't prosecute because who wants to have an employer like that anyway? Maybe one day they will get a MH issue and will know what it's like. I do believe what goes around comes around.

If you feel any employer/potential employer is discriminating against you, you do have a right to complain/take them to court if it turns into a dismissal or turning down of a job. But TBH most people have suffered or know someone who has suffered with a MH issue (a quarter of the population suffers with an MH issue at some point in their lives) so will have some sympathy/empathy, as long as you are open with them, don't mess them around and let them know when you need to take time off rather than just not turning up with no explanation.

I see no need why you should keep your BP quiet, if you are unwell enough to work and they find out by accident it might count against you that you kept it quiet to begin with? But then again it is up to you. If you think they don't need to know and they haven't asked you and you haven't lied then don't tell them. IMO It's about time the public and employers perception of MH changes, to me it is no different from having a recurring back problem or something similar.
 
T

TheRedStar

Guest
I've got two totally contrasting experiences of how understanding employers are about mental health problems. So far - touch wood - my current boss has been great; he's quite happy to arrange my days off around hospital appointments if need be, and last month he didn't mind reducing my hours temporarily while I was both really struggling with my problems and tired as a result of the dosage of my medication being increased. I think my boss is more curious about my problems than anything else, and I think he indulges me because while I can be a bit useless on my down days, I can more than make up for that on my up days. That's the benefit of being on the bipolar spectrum I guess!

My last employers though... I'd dearly love to name and shame them but I don't know if I'd be contravening forum rules by doing so, therefore I won't risk it. I could write an essay on my experiences with them, but I'll just give you the highlights; firstly, I was ordered back to work whilst signed off by my doctor after having a breakdown, as - and this is the only company I know of where this is the case - occupational health is allowed to over-rule GPs. They're even allowed to - and do - over-rule SPECIALISTS, believe it or not.

This is an occupational health department that employs doctors who 'don't believe that depression is a medical condition'. Those were the exact words said to me - the guy told me that in his opinion it's a purely circumstantial illness and there are no biological aspects to it.

Something I did get out of them for a couple of years is preferential shift patterns - it was established with occupational health that would I never finish later than 10pm as my condition tends to be worse at night, and a relatively consistent body clock is meant to be better for pretty much any mental health issue. However, this is where I had trouble with my line manager - every so often he'd hassle me to extend my hours, and whenever HE had a new manager it was never more than a couple of weeks before he came to me and said I'd have to have my hours changed as his boss didn't like anyone getting preferential treatment. I always managed to avoid this happening, but it was something which was always on my mind and didn't exactly help matters for me.
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
My last employers though... I'd dearly love to name and shame them but I don't know if I'd be contravening forum rules by doing so, therefore I won't risk it. I could write an essay on my experiences with them, but I'll just give you the highlights; firstly, I was ordered back to work whilst signed off by my doctor after having a breakdown, as - and this is the only company I know of where this is the case - occupational health is allowed to over-rule GPs. They're even allowed to - and do - over-rule SPECIALISTS, believe it or not.

This is an occupational health department that employs doctors who 'don't believe that depression is a medical condition'. Those were the exact words said to me - the guy told me that in his opinion it's a purely circumstantial illness and there are no biological aspects to it.
Oh my goodness, I have never heard anything like that before? How can an OH be more qualified than a specialist to say those things?! I am sure if that went to a tribunal that you would win. However I wonder if they work on the philosophy that depressed people or people dealing with MH conditions are less inclined to take people to tribunal?! How awful, that is so wrong. :mad:
 
M

mebiscuitsinmebrew

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Messages
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Location
Brighton, uk
wow, that's incredibly sad that some employers still treat people like that. sorry to hear you've had those experiences. but hooray for your new boss to be understanding.

i finally admitted to my new team leader the other day that i have bipolar, and he was lovely about it. He asked me a few questions about it, and generally wanted to know what it meant for me in the long term. Plus he was pretty chuffed that i had the smarts to book my next psych appointment for one of my days off.

i feel better for him knowing, but i'm still all up in the air about telling people at work. my friends at work know and are good about it when i need to talk, but they know me well enough to know that if they just joke about with me and take the pee then that generally works really well.

but so far so good
 
intelgal

intelgal

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Gosh a real horror story..

I have been pretty lucky. Though I work for NHS.. they were supportive and continue to do so.

I am luck though
 
dib4uk

dib4uk

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To be honest and without sounding too cynical or critical- it all depends on what the person has in the first place.

If the person has depression because of life events such as loosing a child or a spouse or parents- bosses are more sympathetic and this is seen as a normal life event.

Yet if a person who works doesnt have either a terminal illness or a failed marriage then the understanding of the person and the condition differs from organisation to organisation.

When a person presents with server or serious mental health problems- such as bi pola or schizophrenia or even personality disorders such as emotionally unstable or borderline personality or an even more serious personality of psychopath? then it really does go beyond the understanding of an employer.

All the employer really cares about is how well they preform their task and money at the end of the day, not all businesses have occupational therapy or allow their workers to not go into work because of mental health reasons.

My own experience of employers was totally negative- they didnt really care that I have mental health problems at all, but then working in chidcare wasnt the best sort of employment that was suited for me, but at the time my problems was just low self esteem and lack of confidence.
 
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S

Summer

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Aug 15, 2009
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Wiltshire
With my employer, I found they were very good at doing what they had to, such as giving me time off when needed, helping me arrange SSP, etc.

But you can tell the people actioning these things do not like it one bit. They don't understand at all, if you hand in a medical certificate to HR for "depression" (for example) you get a sigh and a roll of the eyes.

I guess you can't expect them to understand it if they have never been there themselves, and understanding it is not part of their job description. I just get the feeling they do what they have to do on paper, but secretly think you're a lazy *bleep* trying to skive a few weeks off work.
 
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