Depression in the Workplace

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about depression and work:

I have suffered with depression most of my life. Recently I have had a wave hit me again and I have missed work due to it. Is it possible to obtain a doctors note for this ongoing illness?

Signed, Concerned

Dear Concerned:

You are correct to have your medical or mental health professional provide your employer or HR section with a letter stating that you have a chronic situation which is being treated. That is especially the case if you may need accommodation from your employer about it. (For example, use of sick time or perhaps an occasional flex-schedule or time to meet with your counselor or doctor.)Letting your employer or the HR section of your organization know about it is also a way to ensure that both you and they are aware of rights and responsibilities about the illness and the treatment. It will also allow your HR person or others to clarify what accommodations can be made if needed and what cannot. (I am assuming your work is not of the nature that would have specific limitations on various mental and physical conditions, due to safety or security.)I’m sure your mental health professional has prepared similar notifications for others, but if not, ask him or her to look for resources within a mental health association in your city or region or among his or her colleagues.

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