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Workplace Mental Health

I’ve really struggled these recent years to find the support I need from my team.

In discussions with my line manager, the conversation seems to focus on my ability to do my job well. This makes me feel like their primary consideration is the company’s money, not how they can make working conditions more comfortable or accessible for me.

In addition, I’ve received signposting to external resources which haven’t helped me. According to my place of work, we have an appointed Mental Health First Aider yet I’m not aware of who this individual is. Additionally, I’ve received comments from colleagues regarding whether this is the appropriate industry for me to work in. I find this upsetting when this is in response to me showing a desire to change working conditions for the better.

Furthermore, I felt disappointed in my line manager that after a private discussion, which I assumed was in confidence, he approached the subject of my mental health within my recent appraisal. I suspect this could be due to the company covering their backs in case I were to breach the subject of how I felt the workplace has handled my illness (mental health discrimination in the workplace). Meanwhile, I’m cautious that my probation period may be terminated, or I may be let go from my job.

However, I understand that my anxiety can make me more paranoid about a lot of things. For example, I am sensitive about people not liking me, or taking things I say the wrong way.

I’m currently in the process of an ADHD diagnosis. I often feel misunderstood at work as I have received comments from colleagues that I “have no filter” and “wear my heart on my sleeve”. I’m anxious I am jeopardising my career just by being me.

Furthermore, I feel I’ve been made to feel shameful about my illness when I was only looking for reassurance and support. Through trying to avoid behaviours which I feel may have led others to negative opinions about me, I’ve found myself retrieving into myself and shutting off from colleagues, even those I was beginning to make friends with. I’ve felt isolated and stressed in numerous workplaces, ultimately leading me to leave and find another job.

In conclusion, I wish employers would listen to their employees, our needs and how they can do to support us if we’re struggling to cope. I would like my manager to understand what it means to have a mental health illness and the impact on a person’s day to day life. I am honest and willing to share my experiences in the workplace to help others learn.

In addition, I would like to feel empowered by my manager to excel in my career and feel acceptance. I don’t wish to work for an employer who requires me to censor my feelings.

By listening to those of us out here living it, they can understand and make steps to create an accessible workplace for all illnesses and disabilities, not just physical ones.

Workplace Support

Trade Unions support members i.e. employees or workers concerns with employers as well as provide support with other issues within the workplace. You can find a list of unions and their contact details on the website here.

Guest Blogger

Big thanks to our anonymous guest blogger, for sharing their experience finding wellbeing support within the workplace.

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Dorset Mind is a self-funded local charity that helps people in Dorset experiencing mental health problems access the vital support they need. The charity is at the very heart of our communities shaping futures, changing and in some cases literally saving lives.

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