17 October | Minds@Work LEARN - Returning to Work after a Mental Illness


17 October 2019 - 6pm for 6:30pm start at the Royal Society

Sponsored by Legal and General

Going back to work after a period of illness can be a daunting prospect. With any illness, we may wonder:

What tasks will I be faced with when I return? Will I be able to handle them? Do I have the physical and mental stamina to get through the day? What if I feel ill again? What will people think?

The stigma of mental illness can make the return to work even more uncomfortable, as managers and colleagues don’t know what to say or how to offer support. The business as a whole may not have policies, procedures or training in place to make the return to work successful. Sometimes, if the business environment or job contributed to the illness, fundamental change may be needed.

Businesses can only thrive when workers are healthy and engaged. We hear stories all the time from workers who were well supported by their employer during a period of mental illness; once these workers are back on their feet, they are not only stronger and more emotionally intelligent, but they are more loyal than ever to their employer.

When we’re well enough to return, going to work can be therapeutic. Work gives us a sense of purpose and belonging and these are essential to our mental health.

How do we know when we’re ready to return? What reasonable adjustments can employers make to ensure a successful return? What models of vocational rehabilitation really work?

Minds@Work is staging a free masterclass on 17 October for anyone who wants to know how to make the return to work a positive experience that supports a person’s recovery from mental illness. You will be inspired by the extraordinary personal story of Jana Dowling and equipped by the highly experienced vocational rehab specialist Paul Dorrington. You’ll go home with tools and principles drawn from evidence based practice, so that you can drive change in your organisation. For HR professionals, this is an unmissable development opportunity.

April Doty