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World Mental health day - reasonable adjustments watch

    • Thread Starter

    Reasonable adjustments at work

    If you’re struggling with your mental health at work it is a good idea to contact your work’s human resources (HR) department. The HR department can help put in place reasonable adjustments to help you do your job better or even keep you in your job altogether! Many of these adjustments can be applied to multiple mental health conditions.

    Working space
    A busy environment with lots of people coming and going can make it difficult to concentrate on your work and can make you feel very stressed, alternatively if an area is too quiet for some people that can cause them to focus on their symptoms again making it difficult to complete their work effectively. HR may be able to move you to an area that better suits your needs.

    Doctor appointments
    Mental health conditions often necessitate frequent doctor visits. Trying to juggle these with working hours can be difficult especially if you work shifts and your doctor wants to book you weeks in advance. The HR department may be able to ensure that you don’t get scheduled to work a certain time even if you work different shifts on different weeks. If you have set hours adjustments can also be made. My work for instance allows me to come in an hour early on doctor appointment days so that I can spend an hour at the doctor during the day and still get paid for 8 hours.

    Alternative work schedule
    Some mental health medications can make you very sleepy in the mornings. A reasonable adjustment to take this into account may be to come into work a little later and then stay longer after work to make up the missed time. This shifted timing can also be very useful if a person suffers from anxiety and needs to avoid getting public transport during rush hour when they may feel too uncomfortable to do so.

    Sometimes people just need a break; whether that’s due to a panic attack coming on, voices getting too loud, stress becoming overwhelming, or many other reasons. A reasonable adjustment that may be possible could be having your lunch break split up into shorter breaks, say 5 or 10 minutes so when you need a time out you can take one. Make a cup of tea, go for a walk, or do breathing exercises, anything to get you back into a work frame of mind without the worry that your boss will get annoyed that you’re not doing your job.

    Working a job can be really tough when you have a mental illness but there is help available. Organizations want to retain their employees and it is the law that they need to make reasonable adjustments when an employee has a disability so don’t feel guilty or ashamed to ask about what they can do to help you.
    • PS Reviewer

    PS Reviewer
    Great thread, nice one Saber!

    I've found reasonable adjustments to be a complete godsend in terms of enabling me to hold down jobs/internships at various points since being diagnosed with mental health problems. Even when there hasn't been a designated HR department, most people I've come across have been willing to accommodate my needs by reducing hours or spread hours across an extra day, so that I can travel outside of the rush hour. I travel in rush hour now for my current job but a few years ago, that would have been completely unthinkable! :eek:
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