(Article, Aug. 29, 2019)
The Mentally Ill Need a Voice
To the Editor:
Eric Ravenscrafts article, “How to Manage Your Mental Illness at Work,” brought to light the real ugliness of mental illnesses. He is speaking up for those who would never have a voice on their own. In response to the special accommodations at work reported to be given to those dealing with mental health issues, I believe that many people would not speak up for those special advantages. Their reasoning behind this typically would be that they wish to not burden others around them including their bosses. As for many of the mentally ill, they would prefer to never be the center of attention, especially with special privileges.
For many people living with mental health issues, it is the same as or sometimes even more important than their physical health. Although it is almost 10 times harder to realize that someone is suffering through a mental illness than a physical illness, it is super important that they are aided by therapists, or in worse cases, medical doctors. With help, they will be able to perform their tasks better to benefit themselves and their employer.
For almost twelve years I have been personally battling with mental health issues which have hindered my ability to live my life the way I aspire to. Dealing with a mental illness in everyday life is challenging enough without the unwanted discrimination from those who do not quite understand the stuggle like coworkers, employers, or even mentors for example. Although there are laws to protect the mentally ill in the workplace, many employers tend to sweep it under the rug, as they think it is not a valid excuse to be treated differently.
If we as a country continue neglecting the fact that mental illnesses are real, we will be living in a society where people will feel trapped and helpless. It is owed to future generations to change our mindsets in schools and workplaces on mental health. It is absolutely crucial that we start paying more attention to the well being of those around us and to take mental health and the laws to protect its sufferers much more seriously, especially in schools and places of employment.
The backlash of declining to accommodate the needs of the mentally ill has the potential to be disastrous. Employers could possibly lose their workers due to the fact that the workers may feel uncomfortable in that type of work environment. If this situation turns into a case where employees are frequently demanding special accommodations in the workforce, and their employer reluctantly fails to grant them that, the situation could be put into the hands of the law. This would lead to an unwanted and unnecessary lawsuit against the company as a result of the mistreatment of their employees.