As behavioral health issues and treatment become more mainstream, more employees are being open about their behavioral health issues.
But, as this article suggests, we have a long way to go. We hope there is a time soon when participating in behavioral health services is viewed by all as the positive step that it is. And, employers would be wise to recognize that employees who seek treatment often wind up functioning much better at work, improving productivity and reducing absenteeism.
John Binns, a partner in the consulting practice at U.K.-based Deloitte LLP, assumed his career “would be finished” after he took a two-month leave in 2007 to treat a severe bout of depression.
When he told his bosses, they assured him that they would support any effort to get him back to health and working again, encouragement that the 54-year-old Mr. Binns calls “massively instrumental in speeding up my recovery.” Still, milder symptoms had festered for nearly a year before a worsening of his condition forced him to come forward.
“There was no culture of talking about mental health or recognizing that some of our best and brightest people, statistically, would have a mental-health issue,” he says.
Thats not uncommon, and its becoming problematic for companies as an increasing number of adults seek treatment for psychiatric disorders. While firms appear eager to support employee wellness initiatives, managers are wary of getting too deeply involved in staffers private health issues. Firms can open the door by offering free, confidential hotlines or generous leave policies, but they cant force employees to volunteer details of their conditions.
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