Mental Illness Rights At Work: Why It Needs To Be Talked About

Mental illness rights at work – what are they? Whether it’s you or someone in your cube, did you know that one third of women say depression and anxiety are causing problems at their work? But are we able to voice this without feeling guilty, ashamed or afraid we will get in trouble for it? But why is it so taboo when the word is right there – illness. We would all speak about a cold slowing us down or a migraine. Why is this so different?

On top of it all, how many of us even know there is something deeper than going on than simply not loving your job? Not being able to concentrate at work is the worst, and not caring is just as bad.

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“This is happening at every socioeconomic and professional level, from the bottom to CEOs,” told Beth Salcedo, M.D., president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to Glamour magazine. 58 percent of the survey reported feeling stressed more than half the time they were at work.  On top of it all, a whopping 53 percent of women said they don’t feel very comfortable talking about mental health and 14 percent said they would talk to someone in their office if they felt anxious or depressed.

You know that saying, mental health day? I am and always will be the first to admit I take those. I have to. If I don’t, I lose any creativity, I procrastinate, and I cannot concentrate on getting one thing done. Work finds its way into every corner of my life, which is fine. Except every now and then, I need a break. I don’t spend these days out with friends, doing something fun and crazy. I spend these days unplugging from my electronics and sitting in bed and resting. Literally, clearing my mind, body and soul.

I think it’s time that work places take a stand on being okay to talk about mental health breaks, mental illness and lead talks on mental illness rights at work. Many have created wellness programs where you get money or awards towards working out. But what about our minds? What about having a counselor at the work place? What about asking your employees and even yourself if you need a mental day instead of bashing performances?

We can guarantee that if our work thought we had a serious illness of cancer, heart problems or a severe cold they would tell us to take time away. Get better. So, what is the difference? I know of some people being honest with their work. Telling them they have an addiction problem or are depressed and need to take some time away.

From what I know of these cases, their work was extremely supportive. If such support exists, then why not make it more known when it comes to a work place’s medical responsibility.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that millennials are much more open to talking about their mental problems. Anxiety, depression, etc. Perhaps it’s because we have social media to be open and upfront about and can find others that relate to us. We are more open to discussing are mental illness rights At work with our HR. The door is slowly opening to mental illness being less and less taboo. But we have a long way to go.

I’m challenging you to make your HR do a better job at letting your employees know their rights and medical programs. I am challenging you to make your coworkers and own employees feel comfortable, and if you see them struggling, asking if they are okay. Remember, it is an illness, and therefore, we need to start treating it is like it is.

By Staci Wuoko