The stigma of mental illness in the workplace

For some women returners they feel the need to leave their paid employment after the demands of the job become too overwhelming whilst struggling with mental health issues. At Future Intentions we promote our motto “It’s OK, to not be OK, we engage and support women to practice self-love and acceptance of any mental health issues they may be experiencing and adopt the idea it’s OK to not always be on top of lives challenges and sometimes this may mean experiencing issues with their mental health.

We strongly advocate our mission to help women returners access opportunities for rebuilding confidence and self-belief as a starting point to moving forward with their life, so they feel ready to accept oneself as a suitable candidate for employment. or volunteering. With so many candidates applying for each vacancy, it is not surprising many returners feel disadvantaged by the challenges of mental health.

According to several clients their experiences of managing their emotional responses to juggling their workload and emotional wellbeing before their career break is usually one of fear, this fear can be all consuming and may leave women feeling they have no alternative but to leave their job, for many their experiences of employers is not one of tolerance and support. For these women returning to the workplace may be a major worry and time of increasing anxiety about the attitudes of potential employers when applying for jobs and attending interviews. Having the resilience to rebuff any negative experiences around returning to the workplace is all important.

We introduce our clients to our half day introductory courses and block courses in Confidence Building, Goal Setting, Employability and Assertiveness, although our free taster courses are an introduction  to work with clients on encouraging them to challenge their own self-limiting beliefs and attitudes and to understand more about how they may be holding them back.

For women self-awareness is key to feeling empowered about how to manage their mental health and access to ongoing intensive 1:1 support with Future Intentions will enable women to feel they can push the boundaries and feel good about going out of their comfort zone and more likely to lead to a successful return to the workplace or volunteering as a route into employment.

For those women who feel self-empowerment are more likely to challenge any discriminatory attitudes of employers and feel more confident in dealing with a situation should one arise. Overall it’s about educating employers to the benefits of employing women returners and how they could champion their stance on offering viable opportunities for women to return to the workplace after a career break. A win-win situation most would say!

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