Monday, April 18, 2011

Conference Workshop Spotlight: Disclosing Mental Illness at Work

AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Michael_P
Employment is an important aspect of life, and working can positively impact the life of a person living with mental illness. The question of whether or not to disclose a mental illness in the workplace is a personal one, and there are many aspects to the decision making process.

Interested in learning more about disclosure in the workplace? Join us at the 2011 NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania Education Conference for our workshop, "To Tell or Not to Tell: Disclosing Mental Illness at Work":

To Tell or Not to Tell: Disclosing Mental Illness at Work

Presenters: Carol Horowitz, Esq., James Kindler and Debbie Ference, MA

A job can provide many financial and psychological benefits, and fulfilling work contributes significantly to recovery efforts for those with mental illness. The decision to tell your employer about your mental illness is a very personal one, and each individual has the option whether or not to disclose this information. This workshop features a discussion of the legal, personal and employer perspectives of workplace disclosure. Through an open dialogue, they will discuss the clear benefits of disclosure, as well as the risks. Mental health problems are not always obvious to other people, so disclosure is necessary for those who need to ask for a reasonable work accommodation. By disclosing your mental illness, you may be better understood, and you will gain legal coverage under the Americans With Disabilities Act. You may also receive more emotional support from co-workers and your supervisor. Unfortunately, because of continued misinformation and stigma surrounding mental illness, people may treat you differently once you disclose. Attendees will leave this workshop able to make an informed personal decision after learning the legal requirements for disclosure and the accommodations available for those who do, as well as legal remedies for those who have suffered violations after disclosure.

For more information about our conference, view our online brochure or visit our website. We hope to see you there!

Contributed by Lora M. Dziemiela, Program Secretary

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