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The MSB Work Module – A guide to surviving and thriving in the workplace

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Continuing our spotlight on mental health in the workplace, this module provides actionable resources on how to thrive in the workplace by asking for accommodations, reaching out for support, and knowing your rights. It also has valuable information for employers themselves on how to cultivate a more mentally healthy work environment! Enjoy!

Ah work. Work is where we spend roughly 2,000+ hours of our precious time. For those of us with the fun (full time) side hustle of managing a mental illness, work can present a very real challenge. Read on to find the Soul Balm Approved links which can help you survive and maybe even thrive during your work day.

Education:

  1. Understanding Functional Limitations – Long Read Article. People with mental health struggles need and want to work too! They just might need a few careful considerations to be successful. This article by Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College explains “functional limitations” that may need to be accommodated for those who struggle with mental health issues in the workplace. It also does a great job listing how to identify if someone is struggling and how to help.
  2. Succeeding at Work – Short Article by NAMI. Work’s tough enough already without the extra stress of a mental illness. This article provides us with a great start to looking after your own well being at work by knowing your rights under the Americans with Disability Act, explaining FMLA (the Family and Marriage Leave Act), and providing us with legal resources to fight discrimination in the workplace.
  3. Why Ignoring Mental Health is Costing You – Infographic. Ever wonder what the actual cost of existing in a toxic work environment could be? Spoiler – it’s a lot, costing billions every year in lost productivity, paid medical leave and personal medical bills. This infographic by an Aberdeen contributor gives us some great stats on what it costs a company to ignore the mental health of its employees.
  4. All You Need to Know about Workplace Mental Health – TEDxTalk (Video). Tom Oxley spends his days interviewing companies about their mental health culture and presents his interesting findings in this short TED talk all about Workplace Mental Health and the consequences of stigmatization, disengagement, miscommunication between subordinates and management.

Treatment:

  1. Mind Share Partners Mental Health Training and Strategic Advising – Organizational Website. Mind Share Partners provides a heavy dose of customized sensitivity training to corporate partners in order to “name, normalize and navigate mental health at work”. If this is too costly for your organization, they also provide the Mind Share Partners Institute Certification which can help companies and individuals at a lower cost.
  2. Lifeworks App – App and Support Platform for Employees. Lifeworks provides integrated, holistic HR support right to employees 24/7 with an online employee assistance program, a public shout out feature to highlight individual or team success, and a clear explanation of benefits and resources for employees.
  3. Onsite Health Clinics – Blog Post from Health Stat – This post explains that sometimes even the best Employee Assistance Program gets underutilized simply because employees have to take extra steps to get the benefits. Increasingly, companies are turning to onsite clinics such as the ones from Concentra which provide access to wellbeing right at the place where employees frequent the most: the workplace. Studies have shown that having an onsite resource to go to provides employees with a sense of support and care they otherwise wouldn’t get during working hours.

Community Care:

  1. The Center for Workplace Mental Health – Organizational Website. Here, the American Psychiatric Association has created a network of tools, resources and companies dedicated to helping other employers foster cultures of support and inclusion. The website features calculators employers can use to figure what mental health issues such as depression are costing their company, information about the Collaborative Care Model of Healthcare, and various workshops and toolkits to help individuals and employers succeed together despite mental health issues.
  2. The Faas Foundation – Organizational Website. The Faas Foundation was created to help non-profits who are looking to create “psychologically healthy, safe, fair work environments.” They fund research studies, surveys and initiatives that promote good ethics, fairness, and inclusivity in the non-profit sphere. Their current partners include Mental Health of America, Doctor’s Without Borders, and Casey House to name a few.
  3. Mental Health America – Organizational Website. MHA is among the leaders in providing community care and resources to employees and employers who make mental health a priority in the workplace. Their organization offers a variety of resources, trainings, and certifications including the brand new Bell Seal certification course, which will give a seal of approval to companies that demonstrably seek to improve the lives of their employees. MHA also participates in research, producing the “Mind the Workplace” annual report – a collection of findings reflecting the current status of mental health in the American Workplace.

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Mad as Hell Mental Health Rights Advocate. Likes margaritas, long walks on the beach, and JUSTICE.

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