Sunday, September 2, 2012

Disclosing you have a mental illness at work...

I was supposed to post this a few days ago (as I promised) after posting the article titled "Bipolar Disorder In The Workplace" that I found on Forbes website.  The following comes from Forbes website as well "Seven Tips For Disclosing Bipolar Disorder to Your Employer"

Thinking About Disclosure
If you're weighing the advantages and disadvantages of disclosing your mental condition, think about whom you'll talk to and how much you'll disclose. It might be helpful to have your therapist at the meeting to describe bipolar disorders in detail.
Do Your Homework
It shouldn't be hard to determine your employer's attitude toward mental illness. Have others with bipolar disorders been hired? What are their experiences? Is the company open to telecommuting?

If You Keep Quiet
If you decide not to disclose your mental condition to your employer, think about how you'll get the needed support from others. This could include friends and your therapist. If your current employer is not supportive, it might be time to start looking for a more sympathetic and knowledgeable company.

How To Handle Disclosure
If you decide to disclose your mental condition, decide if you, your therapist or another person will do most of the talking. Think about what will be said and when: You may want to disclose your condition before a job interview, at the interview, before a job offer, before accepting a job or after you've started work.

Who To Tell
Who you tell will have a lot to do with when you decide to disclose. You may tell trusted co-workers, your supervisor, the interviewer, a personnel officer or a representative of the company's worker-assistance staff.

What To Say
Think about how specific you want to be when disclosing your mental condition. Do you want to describe it in general terms, such as "a medical condition," or do you want to be more specific and say "neurological problem" or "difficulty handling stress?" You may want to give your diagnosis: bipolar, depression or anxiety disorder.
Describe any limitations you have in performing your duties. Tell how accommodations can help. Consider telling the employer what symptoms others may observe, what the symptoms indicate and how best to handle them. If you disclose on your own, point your employer to any necessary information from your doctor or the Americans with Disability Act.


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