People who have a mental health issue and they take some time off from work often times worry about resuming it. Common concerns may include going back without being completely well, facing bullying or discrimination or feeling unwell again. Although work causes stress to some individuals in certain situations, but recent studies shows that for some individuals:
- Work is highly beneficial to wellbeing and health
- Re-employment after work break leads to improvement in wellbeing and health
- Not being in the work is detrimental both for wellbeing and health
- An opportunity for building new friendships
- A good sense of purpose and identity
- A feeling that you are playing an important and active part in the society
- Improvement in security and financial situation
Returning To Job After A Sick LeaveYou do not have to be completely better to join the work until or unless the mental illness is dangerous to yourself or others around you. The benefits of resuming work outweigh the downsides generally. If you have a job already that is waiting and open for you, you can talk to GP about joining the work. General Practitioners can give advice along with a fit note and help increase your mental health awareness for good physical health . This note includes the space for the GP to give general advice about impact of the illness, with some ways in which the employer can support while you return to work. Meetings can be arranged with an occupational health advisor and/or your employer to discuss almost anything that concerns about the situation of returning to your work. You can also discuss the GP’s recommendations and inquire about some adjustments for making your transition back into your work smoother. Always keep in mind that the employer carries a legal duty for making ‘reasonable adjustments’ for your work schedule. Depending on the circumstances, you may like to inquire about:
- Support from your colleague, in the long or short term.
- Flexible hours. For example, you may like to return as a part-timer, or start little later in the work day if you are sleepy from the medication in mornings.
- A place that you can visit for a break especially when you need one.
Looking For New JobsIf you are unemployed and wish to join your work again, a mental health worker or your GP can give great advice on how you can join work again. The Government also helps in this regard to find such a person find new work or resume the old one. There are several issues to research and consider when you are thinking about joining your work again, including:
- What kind of job you would like to do
- Where would you like to work
- Your financial situation, including all the benefits that you are receiving related to health
- What kind of support you would need