Speaking to your manager
It can be difficult to reach out to your manager for fear of being judged, however managers may have experiences mental illness themselves or have a family member who has. It is also part of their job to create a safe, open stigma free culture for all employees. It is against the law for mangers to discriminate against anyone due to a mental illness and some managers will be trained to identify and respond to early signs of mental distress.
Here are some tips on how to reach out to someone at work.
- Choose someone that you trust and ask them to identify when a good time to talk would be.
- Ask to talk in a quiet, private place where you will not be interrupted.
- Think about what you would like to say in advance and write it down if that helps.
- Know your rights as an employee:
Ask about your employer’s mental health policy and how that might apply to you, for example, reasonable adjustments.
- Ask about what support is available to you:
Your manager may not have all the answers, but they should be able to guide you to other sources of support in and out of the workplace. For example, a stress reduction course or counselling.
- Ask if you can create a plan together on the next steps. Managers will often be happy to review progress and adjust plans where appropriate.
- Remember that all conversations are confidential.
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