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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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occupational health - March 14th 2013, 04:39 PM

Due to having to have so much time off work, my company has asked that I be referred to occupational health. I have to see an occupational health consultant tomorrow and I'm terrified. The thought of it is giving me panic attacks. I have depression, borderline personality disorder, general anxiety disorder and panic disorder with agoraphobia. I self harm and have overdosed more times than I can count. I'm really scared that they're going to say I can't work and then have my boss fire me. Has anyone been through occ health before? what is it like? what happens? Any advice is more than welcome.
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Re: occupational health - March 14th 2013, 07:18 PM

Your work can not "fire" you because you have mental health problems. This would be discrimination. If occupational health feel you are not mentally well enough to work, I think they would sign you off for a period of time (sick leave) until you start to do a little better and are well enough to return to work OR they will put special circumstance in place at the work place for you.

I know it's scary but try not to worry. They aren't there to be horrible, they are there to help everyone involved. Good luck.


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Re: occupational health - March 14th 2013, 07:30 PM

I had a job offer retracted because of mental health problems and that was with the NHS, so I don't really trust the idea of people not discriminating. There's so much that is going to come up that my employers don't know about. Even if they just put me on sick leave, that would leave me on statutory sick pay which won't even cover my rent. my agoraphobia is flaring up so bad that I don't even know if I'm going to be able to go. It's a 40 minute drive from where I am. I'm trying to keep calm, but I just keep having panic attacks.
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Re: occupational health - March 15th 2013, 01:12 AM

I have a friend who is currently struggling with a physical and mental illness (although he's completely denying the mental illness). He has been on disability for the past 2-3 months, and he's now being told he needs to come back to work or resign. While I can completely empathize with you, I can also see where your workplace is coming from. They need employees who are productive, and if you're going to be on disability due to a mental illness for an undetermined, long period of time, they need to fill your spot with someone else. It's not fair for you to be put under financial strain due to a mental illness, but it's also not fair to make a company pay for an employee that can't work.

So I'm not going to promise everything will be A-OK with your current workplace. What I WILL say is that meeting with this occupational health consultant could open the door for additional resources. I doubt they will meet with you, then go behind your back and inform your workplace of the situation. Chances are they will want to offer referrals for mental health services, employment agencies, etc. Yes, you may experience a setback... but the key is to turn things around as quickly as possible, so you don't have to keep worrying about financial stressors. If you can seek help for these issues, then you may not have to find yourself put in this situation again in the future. Think long-term success, not short-term postponement! =)

Last edited by PSY; March 15th 2013 at 01:19 AM.
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Re: occupational health - March 16th 2013, 01:27 AM

Hi Ella

I know you have most likely seen the consultant by now - I hope it went okay and that you managed to go.

Jobs cannot discriminate against people with mental health problems. However in the NHS it can work differently and they often do check people's medical history for various reasons, and depending on the job role you applied for, you may not have been a suitable candidate. If that makes sense? They aren't out to get you - but equally they need the right person for the job and they don't want the work to negatively effect you either.

The occupational health people will still have to remain confidential due to patient confidentiality etc, so they can't tell your employers things anything you don't want them too (i'm assuming its under the NHS?). You could also make it clear to them what work do and do not know, and if you would like it to stay that way.

I have seen an occupational therapist a couple of times whilst I was an in-patient and he explained to me that their job is to try and support you into living a successful life, with whatever disability you may have (they help people with a wide range of both physical and mental illnesses), to try and live as 'normal' life as possible. They may be able to put something in place to help you at work if you find you are struggling, generally support you etc.

Ultimately, try not to worry about it. I know it can be scary, but your work place and occupational health are there to try and ensure you can do your job the best you can. They are on your side.

I hope this has helped a bit, <3

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Re: occupational health - March 16th 2013, 12:50 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone. I had the appointment and I've gotta say I've never heard the word dismissal spoken that many times in 20 minutes. The guy didn't seem to know anything about mental health and really wasn't helpful. I'm just waiting on his report now so I can see what he's going to tell my employer.
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Re: occupational health - March 26th 2013, 09:31 AM

Occupational health need a software for each department where most of the doctors want to manage all the problems that can never be solved by the manual form so this thing will enable me to do the work easily in all respect.
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Re: occupational health - March 26th 2013, 10:02 PM

Jumping in late with my own experience -

I've had to take leave from a couple of jobs due to mental unwellness. One job (in a fast food chain) was able to find me limited hours when I was well enough to return. The other job, we agreed that I would have to resign because my stays in hospital and respite were impacting on those I worked with (competitive gymnasts, mostly children and early teens).

Sometimes it's about what's best for all parties. I am now on a benefit that actually covers all my costs because apparently I'm too unwell to consider proper full time work in the next 2 years, and perhaps ever. But I am receiving help to do some training and stuff which could lead to casual or part-time employment in an environment where taking time off for mental health issues is not a big thing.

Sounds like your occupational health person was worse than useless, you may get more appropriate advice by talking to your mental health team and using them to liaise with your work place and sort something out. It seems like for now you would need an arrangement with decreased hours, if you are still capable of going. If you are not still capable of working (and only you know if you are or not), then again, talk to your team, because you need some way to cover your rent and so forth if you are not able to work.
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Re: occupational health - March 29th 2013, 02:32 AM

I would have smacked the dude then said something like "I have Explosive Rage Disorder, Bitch!"

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Re: occupational health - March 29th 2013, 10:26 AM

Originally Posted by Ghost On The Highway View Post
I would have smacked the dude then said something like "I have Explosive Rage Disorder, Bitch!"
That really made me laugh My manager is putting in a complaint about him, and it looks like I'm gonna need another appointment for them to ask me if i can do meds and drive.
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