There are a variety of tips that are effective for working with people who are experiencing mental health difficulties.
- Preconceptions regarding the abilities of individuals should be avoided.
- Responsibility should be clearly defined.
- Feedback should be given in a timely and constructive fashion.
- Policies and work assignments should be framed and allocated with sensitivity.
- The effectiveness of accommodations should be evaluated.
Maintaining stamina during the working day
- Allowing flexible scheduling.
- Providing additional time to learn tasks/new responsibilities may be necessary.
- Provision should be made for a job coach, if requested.
- Distraction in work area should be minimised.
- Frequent breaks can assist concentration.
- Through division into smaller tasks, assignments can be made more manageable.
Interacting with co-workers
- Sensitivity training should be provided for co-workers/supervisors.
- Fraternisation outside of the work area can foster inclusion.
- The provision of tape recorders, type-written notes, checklists and instructions is useful.
Dealing with stress
- Recognition of achievements is essential.
- Counselling and employee assistance programmes should be available.
- Telephone calls to a doctor during working hours should be allowed.
- Time off for scheduled medical appointments or support groups should be permitted.
- A flexible approach to leave may be necessary to allow a worker to remain in their job after a period of hospitalisation.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008