If you have ever suffered through depression and anxiety, you know first hand how difficult it can be to simply show up for your life. Even in these days of Covid-19 when many of us are working from home, depression symptoms can still make it difficult to “show up” even virtually. Add to that all of the many Zoom and Google meetings where you have to be “on” (on camera, on topic, on attention, just...on), and it can seem like you have to draw strength from every cell in your body just to plaster on a fake smile and blink away tears until the meeting ends. Do you ever find that some days you just can’t do it? What do you do when you just can’t focus, can’t meet that deadline, can’t get on that 3rd conference call of the day? Although I believe we (meaning society) are trying to get better at talking about depression and anxiety so that there’s less of a stigma, for many people depression still feels like a very private struggle especially if you’re like me and you try hard to separate personal from business. But the fact remains that sometimes depression has its moments when it’s hard to manage and it interferes with managing your life and day-to-day responsibilities. How comfortable are you disclosing your struggles to a trusted person with whom you work so that people are not assuming that you’re just slacking off when you find that you just can’t show up? I’d be interested to hear from HR professionals as well – what are the protocols for working with employees who have mental health struggles so that their jobs are not in jeopardy? Can you share what policies are in place that protect employees from punitive action if mental health challenges prevent them from meeting certain professional responsibilities?
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