An Introduction to Mental Health as an Employer

R2 implements and acknowledges all the advice below and strongly recommends it to all employers

Ensuring that all employees have the necessary tools and work environment is crucial to their optimal performance, which may require making reasonable accommodations for certain employees, including those with mental health conditions. Such accommodations may not necessarily be tangible products or physical changes, especially for individuals with mental health conditions. It’s important to note that not all employees with mental health conditions require accommodations. Common examples of accommodations include flexible work arrangements, scheduling, leave to access treatment, mentoring, frequent breaks, and allowing food or drink at workstations to manage medication side effects. To provide additional support, employees can be referred to employee assistance programs (EAP) services that help employees and their family members experiencing personal difficulties, including mental health conditions that may impact job performance. If formal EAP services are not offered, employees should be made aware of mental health service providers in their communities. However, it is not the employer’s responsibility to diagnose or speculate about an employee’s mental health, but to supervise and ensure that employees meet performance requirements and address problems as needed. Providing support and referring employees to assistance for underlying issues is an important strategy in achieving this. 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a reasonable accommodation is considered any modification to the work environment, or the way a job is done, that enables someone with a disability to apply for or perform a job. When requested, employers covered by the ADA are required to provide such reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, absent undue hardship