Are You Working While Ill?

baker-whiteMyths and Facts About Paid Sick Leave

Andy Baker-White, JD, MPH, Associate Director
The Network for Public Health Law – Mid-States Region
www.networkforphl.org

When you’re not feeling well, do you go to work? Many of us go to our workplace when we’re not feeling well because staying home can mean lost wages, increased workload, missed shifts or deadlines, and loss of momentum on projects. While legislation can’t help with most of that, some states and cities have moved to require employers to provide paid sick time to employees. Eliminating one worry – loss of pay – can entice people to stay home when sick, and thereby help to prevent people from getting sicker, infecting others, and adversely impacting the workplace. In today’s CFYM post, Andy Baker-White reveals truths and untruths about paid sick leave.

It can be difficult for many workers to stay home from work when they are sick. Those who do choose to stay home when sick often suffer lost wages and run the risk of being fired. In fact,

  • close to 40 percent of private-sector U.S. employees do not receive any sort of paid sick days
  • 11 percent of respondents to a 2008 survey by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center reported losing a job after taking time off from work for an illness
  • 13 percent in the same survey, said they were told they would be fired or suspended if they missed work because of illness

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Why Communities Matter In Addressing Mental Health

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In 1996, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton elevated the saying, “It takes a village,” in talking about the various outside influences of caring for and raising children. All politics aside, the impact of thousands of communities in treating patients with mental illnesses cannot be overstated – everyone has a role to play and how we go about addressing these illnesses will have far-reaching societal implications. This was the primary focus of a morning panel discussion at today’s Kennedy Forum in Boston.

Collaboration doesn’t exist without education. Panel Moderator Chelsea Clint...

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First Kennedy Forum Panel Spotlights Past and Future of Mental Health Care

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Care For Your Mind is here today at The Kennedy Forum, and the daylong conference kicked off early this morning with the first panel discussion that looked at the historical significance of President Kennedy’s mental health initiative. This month marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act, a law that provided federal funding for community mental health centers in the United States. In addition, it helped raise the conversation around mental illness in this country.

Mental Health and the Civil Rights Movement

The discussion focused on exami...

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CFYM to Attend The Kennedy Forum

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On Thursday, leaders from the mental health advocacy community will gather in Boston, MA for the Kennedy Forum, a conference established to advance the national conversation around mental health care and advocate for policies that will improve our nation’s mental health care system. Panels and conversations at the conference will focus on creating new avenues for treatment for those affected by mental illness and other disabilities.

Honoring President John F...

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Your Signature Can Help Protect Mental Health Recovery Programs

National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery & National Disability Rights Network

Advocates are actively seeking grassroots support to protect funding for programs that advance mental health recovery and civil rights protection and advocacy. Here, Care for Your Mind shares an “Action Alert” with links so you can learn more and take action.

Congress will soon make decisions that could slash funding for—and restrict access to—state mental health consumer networks, national mental health technical assistance centers, and human and civil rights protections for people with serious mental heal...

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Should We Screen Middle and High School Students for Mental Health Disorders?

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90% of youth who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental illness. 

65% experience symptoms for a full year prior to their death.

When we identify kids at risk, we can save lives.

Over 10 years ago, President George Bush accepted The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recommendation that the federal and state governments work to implement broader access for youth mental health screenings as a matter of public health.  While we are still waiting for federal assistance, local organizations are taking up the challenge and offering free mental health screenings to middle and high school age students. One of those organizations, Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) has been quietly running a mental health screening program, Youth Screen, in Chicago-area schools since 2007.

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Can Erasing Stigma Lead to Earlier Acceptance of Treatment?

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Today, on National Depression Screening Day, CFYM reader, Steve, shares his story of emerging from depression onto a new life path of mental health advocacy. Erasing the social stigma of depressive disorders, he believes, will pave the way to earlier use of depression screenings and encourage people to seek and accept treatment.

After a distinguished career in the Navy, I was proud to join the public sector utilizing the immeasurable discipline and knowledge I had acquired serving in our country’s military. I enrolled in a rigorous doctor of education program at Vanderbilt University with an emphasis in Human Resource Development. I was well on the way to establishing a name for myself as an independent management consultant, focusing on organizational development, prospective employee screening, and middle-management development.

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How Can Mental Health Screening Help?

For more information on participating in National Depression Screening Day, please contact Michelle Holmberg at (781) 239-0071 or by email. Information is also available at mentalhealthscreening.org and helpyourselfhelpothers.org.

Screening for Mental Health

Do you think mental health screening can help address deficiencies in our nation’s approach to diagnosing and treating mood disorders? Policymakers certainly think so: mental health screening is an essential component of several pieces of legislation, incorporating the finding that early detection of mental health conditions increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

Mental health screening is private and anonymous, cost-effective, quick, and accessible, and it provides information and encouragement for people to seek help early. This Thursday is National Depression Screening Day, so there’s still time to rally your network to participate! Here, the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health tells why screening is important and how it supports workplace mental health.

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