Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

What are some myths about workers with mental illness?

One in four people in the United States have some sort of mental illness. After heart disease, mental illness is most common cause of disability and absenteeism.

There are many myths surrounding mental illness. Those who has a condition affecting their mental health are often discriminated at work or school and because of this, they often avoid socializing.

Here are some of the most common myths associated with mental illness and the workplace:

-- Those workers who battle mental illness tend to be second-rate workers. In many cases, these workers are more punctual and have fewer missed days of work than employees without a mental health condition. In addition, studies have shown that productivity levels between those workers with mental illness and those without are no different.

-- It's impossible to recover from a mental illness: For many years, it was thought this was true; however, the majority of people can recover with persistent treatment. This is due in part to improvements in the treatments available today.

-- Those with mental illness are dangerous and potentially violent: This myth is perpetuated by the media. Research by Cornell University found no evidence that supported that belief.

-- Those with mental illness are not able to deal with on-the-job stress: The truth is that both workers with mental illness and without often experience stress while on the job when they experience factors at work that are stressful. When working conditions and an employee's needs match, that is the recipe for optimal productivity.

For those suffer from mental illness and believe that their working conditions have led to their mental health condition, they can apply for workers' compensation benefits. If a claim is denied, an experienced attorney can help with an appeal.

Source: Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania, "Myths About Mental Illness in the Workplace," accessed Jan. 06, 2017

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