Talking About Mental Health at Work

Talking About Mental Health at Work

It’s hard enough having mental illness, but the prospect of talking about it at work can seem almost too much to bear.

While it’s usually straightforward to explain that you need time off for the flu, the stigma around mental illness makes it far more difficult to address symptoms of depression in a similar manner. One of our clients, Sandra, recently experienced this exact scenario.

While Sandra’s depression is often controlled by medication and cognitive behavioural therapy, it can fluctuate during particularly challenging life events.

Five years ago during a particularly challenging few months she started to experience symptoms like hopelessness, insomnia, and energy loss. Because of this, she was unable to complete tasks as optimally as she normally would and it became clear that she would have to be open with her boss or risk appearing negligent.

When Sandra talked to her boss privately about her situation, he was very open and helpful. He disclosed that he had his own struggles with anxiety and suggested that Sandra should work from home for as long as was needed until she felt well enough to return to the office.

When Sandra started a new job last year, she had not experienced a depressive episode for several years. After severe work stress, her familiar depressive symptoms started to return. After roleplaying the scenario and discussion with her therapist, she decided to talk to her new boss, hoping that she would be as understanding as in her previous job.

Unfortunately for Sandra, her new boss was not as understanding. Sandra was encouraged to step aside to take short term leave, which unfortunately was not enough time. When Sandra applied for long term disability, she was denied by the insurance company because they said she had a pre-existing condition and she was not eligible for the benefit – this is when she became our client.

If you receive your benefits through your work, check your policy around mental health disability before you might happen to need it. If you are denied long term disability benefits for mental health issues, get in touch with us – we may be able to help.

Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

We have recently settled cases against  Great West Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and much more. We love hearing feedback from our clients, so please share your own experience with us.