OVERCOMING OBSTACLES: How To Disclose Your Illness

Whether to tell your employer you have an illness or not, be it a physical or mental one, is a controversial topic. Many people recommend against it. As an employee, you have a responsibility to be a productive worker.

If you do choose to talk to your employer about your mental health, you can approach the conversation in a way that balances your responsibilities and your rights. Here are some tips to prepare to talk about your situation offered by Mental Health Works, a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association:

  • Decide how you will describe your mental health problem or mental illness and how specific or general to be.
  • Provide your employer with brochures or other basic information about mental illness.
  • Explain how your mental illness affects you in terms of doing your job.
  • Remind your employer of your strengths and abilities in doing your job.
  • Let your employer know the best way to approach you with concerns – especially how it is best for you to receive criticisms or performance directions.