Mental Health At Work

Now then! As this year’s #WMHD17 is based around Mental Health in the workplace and I’ve recently lost/left/whatever my job of 12 years, I thought I’d write a little about it (and it’s been a rough month or so and it’s always good to get some things written down).
Well, yeah…I’m unemployed! Just writing this is triggering me a little, so let’s get on with it!
Yes, due to my Mental Health I’m no longer employed (I’ll try not to go to much into it all!), but believe me when I say it was because of my Mental Health.
To begin with I was signed off for six months, went back, had a blip (they happen), got signed off again but this time for a shorter time, but during this time my medication got changed (this happens too, gotta find something that works) and these new meds kicked my arse on the side effects front (lasted 2 weeks or so), to the point where it really did feel dangerous to be at work – I drive a forklift, use a table saw/pillar drill on a daily basis, they really did have no choice to send me home and wait for a return to work note from my doctors… long story short – letters went back and forth from doctors to employer’s. This takes a ridiculous amount of time, to the point that you start to wonder if they actually care you’ve got a mortgage, loans, credit cards, all the rest to pay. The side effects have worn off, I’ll come back to work… now, this afternoon if needs be! The time came when I got an email asking to come in for a ‘informal meeting’ – ooh wonder what this could be about?!

I’ve already mentioned that I’ve been there 12 years so I’m very friendly with everybody there, including the big boss man. Turn up, sat in his office had a little chit-chat, gave him my best “I’m feeling good, ready to get back to it and start getting back on with my life” spiel and what I got in return was one of, no, the most awkward silences while someone looks down and twiddles their fingers (and I’ve been in a lot of them!) I have ever witnessed. So I offered to leave – jump before I was pushed (if I can use that term!) and they jumped at the chance. Twelve years and gone, just like that and for what? For having depression, an illness. Where do I start with that?

It’s just straight up wrong. End.

But when one employee broke a leg one time and had appendicitis another, which involved prolonged periods off work. Nothing was said to them – funny that!

We spend most of our time in a workplace (sucks don’t it?) so surely it should be one of the main places that Mental Health gets the awareness it deserves. Will I disclose my illness when applying for new jobs, even if that means they’ll find me not suitable for them? Yes, who’d want to work somewhere with an attitude like that. Not me.

If an employee happens to be reading this please, if we could get Mental Health in the work place more readily available/talked about, you’ll understand what we mean when we ask for the dreaded…dun, dun, dun Mental Health Day! I jest but it’s no joke, some days are impossible, just like Ian (made up person/name of my next dog!) and his headaches they are impossible to work through and resting is the best way to treat it.

It’s World Mental Health Day 2017 but it should always be World Mental Health Day. If you or you know someone suffering with their Mental Health please reach out to somebody (preferably a Dr) but anyone – friend, family member… work colleague!

It really does get easy the more we talk about it. So let’s talk about in the work place.
Matt

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