Whether you work from home or in a physical workplace, mental health is important. Paying attention to mental health in the workplace is especially important in high-paced cities like Los Angeles, where employers might not always prioritize the wellbeing of their workers. The burden can then fall on workers to identify mental health problems, seek help and then seek benefits.
To some people, it might come as a surprise that they may qualify for benefits based on mental health problems. They might wonder if it is necessary to suffer from more debilitating mental health illnesses, but this is not always the case. As long as the illness affects work, it is worth looking into.
How mental health affects productivity
The CDC reports that depression can make it difficult for someone to safely complete even physical tasks roughly 20% of the time. In spite of this, only 40% of severely depressed persons and 57% of moderately depressed persons receive treatment. Here are examples of how depression and other mental health problems might impact work negatively:
- Reduced engagement with work and other workers
- Poor communication with coworkers
- Reduced productivity or impaired job performance
- Struggles with daily functioning and physical tasks
What to do about it
The New York Times reminds workers that they do have protections under the Americans With Disabilities Act that they might turn to. When illnesses do not affect people’s work, for instance, they might not even need to disclose them. Other protections include the right to reasonable accommodations when disclosed and legal protections from discrimination. Here are some reasonable accommodations a person might request for mental health reasons:
- The ability to work from home on occasion or full-time
- Request for written instead of verbal instructions
- Flexible work schedule
- Time off to recover from episodes
California employers and agencies are becoming more open to treating mental health illnesses like any other health condition. However, it sometimes takes some additional convincing, especially when seeking benefits.