Media, Anxiety, Services

26 June, 2019

Returning to work after a mental health difficulty

One in four of us will experience a mental health difficulty in our lifetime, yet many people fear their career will be impacted if their employer knows about their mental health difficulty. Our Medical Director, Professor Jim Lucey, joined Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ to discuss employee rights when experiencing a mental health challenge and to explore why a “don’t ask, don’t tell” culture in the workplace should be avoided.

The dilemma of whether to disclose the situation often adds to the anxiety of those returning to work after a mental health difficulty. It remains a burden for those with a past history of a mental health issues. People ask themselves many questions. Should I disclose or remain silent? What is the safest thing for me to do? What will happen to me or my career if I disclose? What’s the legal position?

People with a history of mental health challenges worry about negative reactions from their employers and/or from their colleagues. These experiences are indicative of the continuing stigma faced everyday by people with mental health difficulties in Ireland.

Tags:   depression   Today with Sean O'Rourke   Anxiety   employment   workplace stress  

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Prof Jim Lucey

Prof. Jim Lucey was Medical Director of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Dublin, from 2008 to 2019. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin. He has been working for more than 30 years with patients suffering from mental health problems. In addition to medical management, he maintains his clinical practice at St Patrick`s, where he specialises in the assessment, diagnosis and management of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders. He gives public lectures and is a regular broadcaster on mental health matters on RTÉ radio, featuring on ‘Today with Sean O’Rourke’.