Lorna blogs about how her line manager was able to support her with her mental health at work.
We hear so much in the media about employers and their negative reactions to people with mental health problems. I felt it important to share my positive story of my workplace's reaction and assistance offered when I found myself dealing with a period of depression.
I had only been working for the company for six months when it happened. I was terrified as I had experienced negativity from a previous employer as a result of my depression.
My team leaders and manager were aware of some personal difficulties but I desperately tried to hide how much I was struggling. Eventually it became impossible to hide and I told my line manager how I was feeling.
The reaction from them was very different from what I had expected. Instead of derision, dismissal or rejection I was met with only concern for my wellbeing. I was encouraged to see my GP and I was made aware that they would be on hand to support me through this time, along with the other managers within my department.
Since then, they have all been true to their word. They have never put any pressure on me, they have adapted my duties when it has been needed and accepted those days where it has been impossible for me to attend. Furthermore, they funded external counselling sessions and adapted my hours to allow me to continue to see my counsellor.
What is also fantastic is that my colleagues, though aware that
something has been wrong but not knowing the full extent of it, have always accepted the changes in my work pattern and my moods without question or judgement.
I know I am very fortunate to work in such an understanding workplace but I also know what a difference any small adjustments can make. Work has always been very important to me and having been able to work and deal with my depression has made a massive difference in my ability to make my way back from the depths of this darkness.
I do not believe I would be making the sort of progress that I am without the support of my employers. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done to help me to stay well. I still have some way to go but with the support of my loved ones, my therapist and my workplace, I am sure I will get there.