Mental Health Stay-at-Work Strategies
By Roberta Etcheverry, CPDM
Diversified Management Group
Mental health conditions in the workplace present challenges for both employers and employees. For employees, the effects can be sudden and unpredictable, and the social prejudice and stigma surrounding mental health can leave employees reluctant to ask for assistance. For employers, these “hidden” disabilities are often misunderstood. Given that approximately one in five U.S. adults experiences mental health issues,1 employers need to develop strategies for supporting ongoing employment.
When employees’ mental health impacts job performance, one challenge for employers and employees is having that first discussion regarding possible accommodations. Adrienne Paler, Sutter Health’s Director of Integrated Disability and Absence Management (IDAM), says that trust can be an issue for employees, who may fear what supervisors and peers will think if they ask for help. Paler’s organization has equipped agents in their human resources contact center with tools to streamline accommodation requests and reduce employee sensitivities or concerns about stigma.
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