Monthly Archives January 2016

How to Get What You Need For Workplace Success

Tips for seeking ADA accommodations
Mark Siegert, PhD

If you are struggling with a mental health issue, you may be inclined to hide your condition from your co-workers or employer; and you might worry that sharing behavioral health information could alienate you from your peers and that it might damage your career.

While these considerations are serious, there is a comforting piece of reality you should know: many of your co-workers are also struggling. Recent research suggests that at any given time, 20 to 25 percent of the workforce has a diagnosable mental health condition and 18 percent has an active substance abuse problem. That means that right now, one out of every four or five employees has a mental health issue. Picture your co-workers in a room. Yes, on average, at least one out of every five has, or if diagnosed would have, a mental health diagnosis.

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Why I Talk About My Depression.

Shirley Cresci

How workplace conversations about behavioral health can maximize our career potential
Dr. Shirley Cresci, Director, Behavioral Health Services, Prudential

I was diagnosed with dysthymia—persistent mild depression—several decades ago. Prior to my diagnosis and treatment, depression robbed me of joy and my authenticity. Because it was not debilitating depression that kept me from getting out of bed each day, however, I minimized it. I convinced myself my sadness and low self-worth was just me, not any kind of problem.

I experienced the effect of my depression through all aspects of my life, but especially in my early work choices. As a single mother with no college degree and a poor sense of self-confidence, I pursued jobs that were outside of my goals and ambitions. My past work life was about underachievement.

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Shift Workplace Culture, Help Break the Silence

Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio

Five tips to shift workplace culture and create a space for open dialogue about mental health

Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio
Vice President, Health and Wellness, Prudential

The silence that surrounds mental health issues is often the result of shame and fear. This is particularly true in the workplace, where many worry they will suffer professional consequences if their co-workers and supervisors learn of their behavioral health challenges.

Sometimes, however, people keep silent about behavioral health issues simply because there is no space for such conversations in their workplace. If there is no precedent for initiating these sorts of conversations and people are not invited to share information about behavioral health matters, they likely will not feel comfortable discussing them. And so they remain silent, unsure of how—or where—to raise the topic.

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A Patient’s Guide to Taking Medical Time Off Work

Paul Pendler

Paul Pendler, Psy.D., ABPP
Assistant Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine,
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

When mental health issues arise, all areas of a person’s life tend to suffer—work included. Under certain circumstances, people with mental health conditions may need to seek time off from employment in order to focus on recovery and restore functioning.

If you suspect you might need time off for mental health reasons, listed below are some helpful guidelines for how to engage your practitioner and your workplace on this issue.

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