Today (3rd December 2020) is International Day of People with Disabilities, an annual celebration of people with disabilities. The theme this year is “Not All Disabilities Are Visible”.
It aims to spread awareness of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, including hearing impairments, neurological disorders, learning disorders, brain injuries and mental illness.
2020 has been a challenging year that has had a significant impact on the mental health of millions. The number of people struggling with mental illness is increasing.
As it stands, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. We’re going to use this opportunity to share tips on employing someone with a mental health disability.
Why Should I Employ Someone With A Mental Health Disability?
Mental health disabilities can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, culture, job role or lifestyle. Some people choose to be open about it. However, due to stigma, many people choose not to talk about their mental health.
There may be people in your life that are currently living with a mental health illness or have recovered from mental health issues.
Having a mental health disability does not change who that person is. Nor does it change the skills and knowledge they have. If an individual has the right qualifications and skills for the role, will fit in well and has beliefs that mirror the company’s, why should their past mental health issues prevent them from getting the job?
Being open to employing someone with a mental health disability, or someone who has recovered from mental health problems will benefit your business.
It will broaden your talent pool by increasing the number of high-quality applicants. Plus, it will help you establish a diverse and open workplace culture. Employing someone with a mental health disability also provides an opportunity to educate your team. You can reduce stigma and raise awareness about mental health.
How Do I Employ Someone With A Mental Health Disability?
With the right support, employing someone with a mental health disability can be simple. Here are our top tips:
Utilise Government Guidance & Other Resources
The UK government has set out guidance for employers hiring people with disabilities. It includes valuable information about disability laws, advice on specific physical and mental conditions and information on funds available.
It also offers tips on how to employ someone with a disability, which includes everything from accessible job applications to interviews.
Be Willing To Make Reasonable Adjustments
If you are willing to make reasonable adjustments within the workplace, it will make a huge difference when employing new staff. For example, a person who has a mental health disability may request flexible working hours. Or the option to work remotely when needed.
Being able to accommodate these adjustments will help your employee carry out their job role to the best of their ability.
Have An Effective Mental Health Policy
Your company should have a mental health policy. But having a generic mental health policy just to tick a box is pointless. Your mental health policy should line up with the values of your business.
It should clearly set out your approach to mental health within the workplace and should provide information and resources for staff. It should also demonstrate how you are going to support mental health in the workplace and clearly outline the help available to your team.
Your employees, old and new, should be aware of the mental health policy in place and be familiar with the support available. As your company grows and evolves into a diverse workplace, your mental health policy may require updates.
Use The Right Recruitment Agency
Recruitment agencies are a fast and effective way to hire the very best staff. Choosing the right recruitment agency is crucial. If you are open to employing someone with a mental health disability, a specialist recruitment agency will be a good idea.
At Mindful Partners, we specialise in helping people who have recovered from mental ill-health return to the workplace. We spend time with each candidate to ensure we can put forward the very best person for the job role, workplace culture and ambitions.
We understand that people who have survived ill mental health are strong, determined, wise, and level people. And with the right support, they can be the perfect candidate.
Mindful Partners then provides ongoing support for both the employer and employee. This may include training carried out by our mental health professionals.
Get In Touch
If you are an employer and would like to find out more about partnering with Mindful Partners, please get in touch. Alternatively, if you are recovering from mental ill-health and are looking to get back into work, please get in touch.