Know your legal rights when working with a mental health problem
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Mental health issues contribute to a major extent in disturbing your daily routine. These issues can actually pose a great impact on your working ability than any other illness does. Receiving an adequate source of income and earning goodwill at the workplace can divert you from your mental health issues.

Often your work gets affected when mental health is neglected. For example, people suffering from hypomania may face concentration issues at work. However, the right balance of body and the mind, the support of the employer, and the fellow employees can reduce your stress levels.

Mental Illness, an embarrassment!

People ailing from mental issues are subjected to rigorous discrimination at workplace by few narrow-minded people. The latter fails to realize the ordeal they go through in practicality. Such people need to be looked after with delicate care and given specific jobs. But who in this modernized society understands this? Even if, we all are well-educated!

With time, rationality is losing grounds, agreed, still, there are some unfortunate who are afraid to disclose their condition with the thought of being misjudged and degraded as untouchables. The fear of being teased, nagged, and socially cornered makes it almost impossible for an individual to confide to another co-worker about their mental distress. Hence, it becomes a compulsion to show these miniatures that everything is fine even if things are the other way round. A stigma still exists on mental distress. Busy in work does take your mind away from the mental health problems but at the same time worsens it as no one around has any idea of what you are going through, rather you have to pretend everything is fine.

Work absence, the solution?

Mental health problems do affect the ability to think, work, feel, and behave. Sometimes, they are minor sometimes, they turn severe, and sometimes, they are born suddenly. Stress, anxiety, and depression are the main mental health issues that make people take leave from work. Personal issues, be it, relationships, financial or family also hinder your work to a major extent.

Today’s scenario has changed. Employers extend warmth and care towards the mentally-impaired individuals. They attempt to create a separate comfort zone for them to ensure their well-being but that does not happen all the time.  We need more employers who promote vocational events and pieces of training where the mentally challenged individuals are able to be under the spotlight.


Support is the need of the hour, at least for from the ones who are emotionally distressed. If this support is not there, these individuals tend to isolate themselves from social gatherings at work.  More the assurance of job security, sooner the employee may recover from his mental distress.

Legal Rights for mentally distressed

Laws have been implemented to stop the biases taking place with respect to race, caste, creed, gender and disabilities.

  1. Privacy rights in office: A mentally unstable employee has the right to hide his mental condition from his office employees and employers till indefinite period. He can disclose them when he thinks appropriate or when he or she desires to avail the office benefits. On the other hand, no employer has the authority to inquire about the employee’s mental illness or any of health condition.
  2. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This act pins down that employees suffering from bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, schizophrenia etc are not subjected to any kind of physical or mental torture or discrimination in his or her workplace.
  3. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): As per the act, mentally unstable employees are liable to take 12 workweeks of unpaid but secured job leave either to take care of themselves or to take care of their family members who are also suffering.
  4. Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA): This act enables institutional bodies that fight against abuse, violation, to arrest people for torturing employees with mental disability.


There are many ways you can seek help if you are suffering from a mental distress. You do not have to suffer in isolation or take more than you have to. The above listed acts protect your well-being and jobs in many cases. Seeking help from a counselor or therapist could be very beneficial. A counselor can also provide you more resources pertaining to your particular situation and protect your privacy. Please do not neglect your mental illness because it will worsen with time.