“When you’re really stressed out and have a mental health issue you’re grappling with, it is very difficult to think about the team more broadly,” said John Quelch, dean of Miami Herbert Business School in Coral Gables, Florida. and co-author of the book “Compassionate Management of Mental Health in the Modern Workplace”. Even so, he added, “you have to try to get into your employer’s mind.”
Mental health problems were ubiquitous during the pandemic. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that as of June 2020, 40 percent of adults in the United States were experiencing mental health problems or substance abuse.
It’s okay to be open minded and admit to yourself and those you trust that you’re in trouble, said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America. In fact, he added, “Most good employers will ask, ‘What can I do to help you?'”
You can also choose to keep your concerns private and discuss them with your therapist, and that’s fine, too. Establishing healthy working boundaries is crucial, according to experts.
“Remember that you are a worthy and valuable person, regardless of your job role, your productivity, and even how others might evaluate you,” said Dr. Burnett-Zigler. “When feelings of self-doubt and non-belonging arise, don’t lose sight of the unique talents and ideas that you bring to the workplace.”
But say your efforts to improve your emotional wellbeing in your workplace have failed or the work environment has become toxic. In this case, the experts say, it’s probably best to look around for another job, especially if you are being mocked, threatened, or verbally abused by a manager.
It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you just because you have a mental illness. And according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if you have a qualifying condition like major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, you have a legal right to reasonable accommodation that would help you with your work – such as the ability to meet appointments for therapy , bypassing a quiet office space, or permission to work from home.