Policies are a starting place from which to develop deeper strategic processes to have that allow for the safety, security, and levelling of the playing field. Employees need to trust that their disclosures and requests for additional support will not cause a backlash reaction of additional harm. Most organizations whether they be business, not for profit, or non-governmental agencies have policies in place for addressing physical illnesses.
The stigma of declaring that you require support for a mental health illness or that you require time off to address strategies for the interpersonal violence is real. There are Employee Assistance Plans (EAP) in place to help employees with confidential counselling services. These services do provide critical assistance.
Workplaces need to take a deeper look into providing the framework for employees to feel comfortable enough to overcome feelings of shame and humiliation of the condition or illness they are trying to deal with. Inhouse seminars are one way to ensure ongoing training and education of all employees is in place. Another is to develop mentorship approaches or those facing additional challenges such as interpersonal violence.
Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition – firstname.lastname@example.org