What are Mental Health Conditions?
Mental Health Conditions affect 1 in 4 people in the UK. They affect the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. They can range from mild to severe and can sometimes be very complex.
Most people can relate to fluctuating mental health such as low mood or mild anxiety at points in their life.
Other people have longer term conditions diagnosed, such as Depression, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), Bipolar Disorder, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Schizophrenia. These have a bigger impact on a person’s life and the symptoms can be debilitating and affect their ability to work.
How might this affect someone at the recruitment process or in the workplace?
Living with a mental health condition can affect a person’s confidence. However, it is recognised that work is generally good for mental health and well-being.
Into Work Employment Advisers take time to get to know people as individuals, building good working relationship based on trust.
People often come to Into Work with very low self-esteem, a poor employment record and a real loss of confidence. Building up their ‘mental’ foundation and helping them believe in themselves again forms the basis of our work.
If a person lives with a more serious mental health condition Into Work can help in the following ways:
- We can negotiate with employers to change the style of interview or suggest an unpaid work placement to assess someone’s skills and abilities.
- We can advise and help people disclose their condition to their employer.
- We can educate employers about the Equality Act 2010 and explain about the protected characteristics for people with Mental Health.
- Individuals are assigned their own personal Employment Adviser who will work with them to develop skills and strategies to deal with interviews more successfully.
- We can set up regular reviews to assess how someone is coping in their new role.
- We can offer guidance about any reasonable adjustments that would help the person at work.
Into Work helps people with mental health conditions get a job, and keep a job, by supporting them through the recruitment stage as well as supporting them in the workplace.
Workplace adjustments don’t need to cost anything. They are often just commonplace considerations to someone that needs a bit of extra help. These can include:
- Offering time out so the individual can attend appointments for treatment or therapy relating to their mental health.
- Appointing a buddy/mentor.
- Negotiating flexible working, hours and working conditions.
- A gradual return to work after a period of illness.
- Offering training to managers to help them understand the signs/symptoms to look out for.
- Consider the environment, ‘too noisy’ or ‘too quiet’- ask the individual?
- Support with managing workload at times where concentration is affected.
- Regular supervision, but have an ‘open door’ policy in case the person needs more regularity at times of high stress.
- Offer mental health awareness sessions to colleagues if the person is happy to disclose.