This article has been in my drafts for the last few months. Since that first draft, multiple applications I use daily have gone...
World Mental Health Day : Mental Health in the Workplaceclackapedia
Today is world mental health day, which takes place every 10th of October. Every year they have a different theme or subtitle to the day, this year being mental health in the work place.
As some of you who know me in my personal life my know, I live with ADD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am fortunate to work for an employer who is accepting of this and works with me (I had an issue with medicine about 6 months ago that I'm very grateful that I work with an accepting employer) as needed, but I know many people may not have the same resources, so I'd like to provide a little for you right now.
Open Source Mental Illness
OSMI as its abbreviated is a non-profit charity that provides free resources for employers, employees and other organizations as to how to work with mental illness. They provide these resources free of charge as part of their mission statement to remove the stigma of discussing mental health in the Tech workplace, I highly recommend downloading their resource ebooks here.
Note with the above, a price tag is shown, but you can drag the price down to 0 to get the handbooks. If you choose to contribute it all goes to helping out the charity!
Are you reporting your status to your employer?
Your employer is subject to the Americans with Disabilities act, which requires reasonable accommodations to those with mental illness as well as other disabilities. If you didn't do so upon your initial employment, feel free to contact your HR department to report your status. it is NOT legal to discriminate against you in any way for this status, its just so they can see that they are able to provide you reasonable accommodations as needed. I did this when I first filled out my application, but before in another job I was scared to do this at application time, afraid even though it says they cant discriminate that this would do so.
That's not been my case, if you haven't had your status set with your employer feel free to do so!
You may have read the previous paragraph and felt that your mental illness doesn't count yourself as “disabled”. I find that term to be a little loaded, as I personally went for some time in college feeling like my accommodations were giving me a “leg up” and that I didn't deserve them (yay negative self talk!). Think of it like taking someone's glasses and telling them to try to see harder they just need to “toughen up their eyes!” You may have made it this far without any extra help, and never realized you were having to put in triple the effort because you didn't receive help that would assist you. Whether that be therapy, medication, training, or accommodations it doesn't matter, you deserve to have your rights upheld and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
We're all in this together
I haven't posted in over a month to the blog, work stress and prep for a very large trip getting in the way, but I wanted to make sure I got this out today, because I want to let you know you're not alone out there! Feel free to contact me on my contact form if you want to talk and don't feel there's anyone out there who understands, I'm happy to listen.
P.S. if you're in the Richmond or Mechanicsville area, I can't say enough about Katy Webb, who works over at Hanover Counseling Associates. Her guidance and experience has taken me to a much better headspace over these last two years.
If you're looking for someone to see and have nowhere to start, I highly recommend going to Psychology Today's Find a Therapist page. Look at the photos and experience, and reach out to who you think would be a good fit. If the first one doesn't work out, no worries just keep swimming! This is how I found my wonderful therapist.