Someone you know is wrestling with the effects of mental illness, or perhaps it is you who is suffering right now. From treatments and therapies to missed days at work, individuals working through mental illness find themselves in a constant battle to manage and transcend their troubles.

 

Unfortunately, prevailing attitudes in society do not help those who are struggling. When a “label” becomes attached to someone because of mental illness, we tend to make false assumptions about that person’s ability to work, connect with others, and make significant contributions to our culture. In the workplace, too, potential employers may see gaps on resumes and missed worked days by the individual contending with illness as a sign of weakness and limited capacity.


 

A new generation of therapy providers—led by companies like the online therapy app Talkspace—hope to offer support to individuals with mental health challenges, along with additional opportunities simply to navigate troubles at home or in the workplace. For Mary Walton, managing the impact of an individual’s mental illness in the work setting begins with honesty.[1] Noting that the Americans with Disabilities Act indicates that an employer cannot discriminate against the individual because of mental illness.[2] When applying for jobs and tendering a resume with “gaps” to a potential employer, it may be quite important to offer information about them if they pertain to treatment of mental illness. Walton offers a good way to respond to potential questions about the gaps during an interview with an employer, saying that focusing on leaving mental illness behind and emphasizing your desire to get back to work can be helpful.[3] Indeed, mentioning all the details to a potential employer is not necessary, but saying something is always appropriate. Before the interview, a “functional resume” highlighting skills and credentials can be a stronger submission than the traditional chronological resume model.[4]

 

When beginning a new job or working at the current job, Walton advises that individuals living with mental illness are realistic about the work they can deliver on the job. “When promising what you can do,” Walton writes, “only offer what you can deliver.”[5] Walton also states that it’s important for the individual to remember that they have already demonstrated their value to the company. “You don’t want to overexert yourself,” Walton advises, adding, “Even when working within your means, you can still be an amazing employee.”[6]

 

Contending with the symptomatic challenges of mental illness that manifest in the workplace can be quite a daunting task. The pace of the work coupled with the interpersonal expectations of company life may add significant stressors to those attempting to manage depression, bipolar disorder, and other illnesses, along with everyday mental health issues. Setbacks in the workplace from unmet deadlines, underperformances on projects, or even everyday tasks, may make it even harder to cope with mental illness. Here’s where online therapy providers like Talkspace can be useful.

 

Rather than having to miss additional worktime by going to a therapist’s office, Talkspace enables you to chat with a therapist at your own convenience—from anywhere, at anytime.[7] Daniel Cooper of Engadget sees the new approach to therapy provided by Talkspace as a game-changer. “Time-poor folks who struggle to carve out a couple of hours each week to journey to a clinic can still get the help they need. Plus, it’s cheaper…”[8]

 

Talkspace and other e-therapy providers continue to help a generation of folks dealing with acute mental health challenges and long-term struggles with inexpensive, accessible, and effective therapeutic supports. For both work and personal problems, it can be comforting to know that you can communicate with your therapist using your computer or your phone instead of having to physically visit the office. Mental illness may be stigmatized by our society, but the ability to manage it is improving because of great therapists partnering up with online providers like Talkspace.

 

[1] Extracted from: https://www.talkspace.com/blog/2017/12/9-tips-managing-gaps-resume-due-mental-illness/

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Extracted from: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/09/your-therapist-will-text-you-now/

[8] Ibid.