Here’s How to Talk to Your Boss about Mental Health

September 08, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


In a 2017 American Psychological Association (APA) survey, 18 percent of American workers reported that mental health issues made challenges at work more difficult and 15 percent said that these issues prevented them from attaining work goals. Some mental health experts suggest that workplace supervisors may be able to provide support and accommodations to help employees with mental health needs. They recommend first thinking about whether the supervisor and company culture would be open to such discussions, and then considering what information would be most useful to share. It’s “best to focus on the impact it’s having on your work,” said David Ballard, assistant executive director of the APA Center for Organizational Excellence, for example, productivity or ability to interact professionally. Since employees are not required to reveal their specific health condition, they “can be guided by their instincts in terms of whether or not it feels safe or comfortable to disclose whatever level of detail that they’re thinking of sharing,” said Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Other options for employees are to go directly to their employee assistance program or human resources department, or the Job Accommodation Network.

Spark Extra! Check out the Job Accommodation Network website.