Jobs

Help at Work

for People with Mental Health Impairments

 

A mental health impairment is an illness that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behaviour, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and anxiety disorders.  Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits, and/or social withdrawal.

 

The following is a quick overview of some of the job accommodations that can be useful for people with mental health impairments. For a more in depth information in a Fact Sheet for specific disabilities, visit  Ask Jan  . 

To discuss your own specific situation with a consultant, contact the Employment Team at The Upper Room.

 

Disability Help at Work for You

 

Maintaining Stamina During the Workday:

·         Provide flexible scheduling

·         Allow longer or more frequent work breaks

·         Allow employee to work from home during part of the day, or week

·         Provide part time work schedules

Maintaining Concentration:

·         Reduce distractions in the work area

·         Provide space enclosures or a private office

·         Allow for use of white noise or environmental sound machines

·         Allow the employee to play soothing music using a cassette player and headset

·         Increase natural lighting or provide full spectrum lighting

·         Plan for uninterrupted work time

·         Allow for frequent breaks

·         Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and goals

·         Restructure job to include only essential functions

Staying Organized and Meeting Deadlines:

·         Make daily TO-DO lists and check items off as they are completed

·         Use several calendars to mark meetings and deadlines

·         Remind employee of important deadlines

·         Use electronic organizers

·         Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and goals

Dealing with Memory Deficits:

·        Allow the employee to tape record meetings

·        Provide type written minutes of each meeting

·        Provide written instructions

·        Allow additional training time

·        Provide written checklists

Working Effectively with Supervisors:

·        Provide positive praise and reinforcement

·        Provide written job instructions

·        Develop written work agreements that include the agreed upon accommodations, clear expectations of responsibilities, and the consequences of not meeting performance standards

·        Allow for open communication to managers and supervisors

·        Establish written long term and short term goals

·        Develop strategies to deal with problems before they arise

·        Develop a procedure to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation

Interacting with Coworkers:

·        Educate all employees on their right to accommodations

·        Provide sensitivity training to coworkers and supervisors

·        Do not mandate employees attend work-related social functions

·        Encourage employees to move non work-related conversations out of work areas

Handling Stress and Emotions:

·        Provide praise and positive reinforcement

·        Refer to counseling and employee assistance programs

·        Allow telephone calls during work hours to doctors and others for needed support

·        Allow the presence of a support animal

·        Allow the employee to take breaks as needed

Maintaining Attendance:

·        Provide flexible leave for health problems

·        Provide a self-paced work load and flexible hours

·        Allow employee to work from home

·        Provide part-time work schedule

·        Allow employee to make up time

Dealing with Change:

·        Recognize that a change in the office environment or of supervisors may be difficult for a person with a mental health impairment

·        Maintain open channels of communication between the employee and the new and old supervisor in order to ensure an effective transition

·        Provide weekly or monthly meetings with the employee to discuss workplace issues and productions levels


For more information about what the Government does for disabled people, see: 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/index.htm


Conditions that can be disabilities at work

(not just Mental Illness)

 

A

Addison's Disease

Aging Employees

AIDS/HIV

Alcoholism

Allergies

Amputation

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Anxiety Disorders

Arthritis

Asperger Syndrome

Ataxia

Attention Deficit Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorders

B

Back Impairments

Bipolar Disorder 

Bladder Impairments

Bleeding Disorders

Brain Injuries

Burn Injuries

C

Cancer

Cerebral Palsy

Charcot-Marie-Tooth

Chemical Sensitivity

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Pain

Cognitive Impairment

Color Vision Deficiency (Color Blind)

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Cumulative Trauma Disorders

D

Depression

Developmental Disabilities

Diabetes

Drug Addiction

Dystonia

E

Environmental Illness

Epilepsy

Essential Tremor

F

Fibromyalgia

Fragrance Sensitivity

G

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Graves' Disease

H

Heart Conditions

Hearing Loss

Hepatitis

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

HIV/AIDS

Huntington's Disease

I

Intellectual Impairment

Interstitial Cystitis

K

Kidney Disease

L

Latex Allergies

Learning Disabilities

Leg Impairment

Lyme Disease

Little Person

Liver Diseases

Lou Gehrig's Disease

Lupus

M

Marfan Syndrome

Mental Health Impairments

Migraine Headaches

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Sclerosis

Muscular Dystrophy

Myasthenia Gravis

O

Obesity

One Hand, Ear, Lung, Leg, or Eye Use

P

Paraplegia

Parkinson's Disease

Post-Polio Syndrome

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Psychiatric Impairments

Q

Quadriplegia

R

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) 

Renal Disease

Respiratory Disorders

S

Sarcoidosis

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Shingles

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sleep Disorders

Speech-Language Impairments

Spina Bifida

Spinal Cord Injury

Stomach Ulcers and Reflux Disease

Stroke

Stuttering

T

Thyroid Disorders

V

Vertigo

Vision Impairments

 

 

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