MANAGING THE MENTALLY ILL (MADE EASIER)

My boss is a genius.

My boss is a genius. He’s solved something corporate Australia has been struggling with for years. If you treat people with mental illnesses like people with physical illnesses, life’s a breeze. You could paraphrase his genius thus: Just treat every person like a normal person. Let me give you an example.

When we first met, I told him about my bipolar. He didn’t blink. Instead, he asked me if there was anything he could do to help?

I gratefully told him no and we set off on our working relationship.

Months later, I needed a few days off because I’d dipped badly with depression. I rang him and told him the truth. 

He didn’t gush or get uncomfortable – just wished me well and told me to rest up. 

The day I returned he asked if we could speak privately. I thought to myself, “Oh here we go. I knew this was too good to be true.” But I was wrong. He simply asked me three things:

  1. How was I?
  2. Could I tell him about bipolar as he wanted to understand it?
  3. And would I mind speaking to another colleague he was concerned about?

We spoke honestly and openly for an hour. Like I said, my boss is a genius.

There is a treasure trove of online information on helping manage mentally ill workers. This one covers it in great detail:

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/topic/mental-health

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