Rights & Awareness for Mentally Ill Employees in the Workplace
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"Everyday you live with a mental illness is another day you won a battle."
But that's not how most workplaces see it.
Everyday people with mental illness get punished and even abused for having a mental illness.
And I don't even mean illnesses that are considered more 'severe' I mean illnesses that go unnoticed or cared about like Anxiety, Depression, Agoraphobia, Bipolar, etc. These illnesses go unnoticed because of ignorance or stupidity. Little do people know these illnesses often lead to suicide for the abuse they endure from families, friends, employers, and coworkers.
When you have a mental illness such as these it's a struggle to do daily life let alone work. You struggle to get out of bed, to get dressed, to leave your house, to put on a happy face through the agony, and even some days simply survive whether you're on medication or not.
Mentally ill employees have a tendency to; Show up late because of the struggle to show up in the first place, Not show up at all because they lost the battle within themselves, and ask to step away for a few minutes to collect themselves because they find themselves struggling at work.
Employers of these mentally ill employees in most cases don't treat them with understanding, instead they call them stereotypical things like 'unreliable' or 'slacker', take away hours/send home early or even fire them, yell at/lecture them, withhold shared tips as punishment, forced to do dangerous work that other employees won't do, remove any rights for employee to step away when needed, and refusing time off for mental health appointments
You wouldn't do any of this to a physically ill person so why is it ok to do this to a mentally ill person? Your brain is your control center, and if it's ill, it's going to effect you physically as well. It's only common sense. You cannot 'suck it up' or force something you mentally are unable to do, it's out of your control. You can fight it and sometimes win, but it's not any better.
I've seen many times where a mentally ill person was treated like this in the workplace and only ended up more depressed and even considering suicide as a way out because they couldn't find another job. This shouldn't be happening. Workplace abuse is almost as common and as effective as bullying but bullying is the only one being talked about. And suicide is still a big problem..
What should happen in the workplace for the mentally ill is:
- Flexible hours
- No 'punishment' for mentally ill behaviors
- No cutting hours
- Removal of stereotypical labeling
- Rights to step away for a mental health break when needed
Even praise for showing up at all would go a long way for encouraging a mentally ill person to show up.
And all violations against these should be punished by Law.
Also like to request to have awareness to Workplace abuse for the mentally ill be spread to the public so anyone seeing these violations can report it as well.
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