I know this is about the mental health field, but let’s be honest, replace the words “mental health” below with your own field, would you feel any differently?
I thought about going to the hospital because I knew I was not well. But I was conflicted. What if I ran into a co-worker? Or worse, what if I ran into one of my clients? The stigma with mental health treatment is a real thing for someone who works in the mental health field. So I decided that I couldn’t go to the hospital.
Think about your own field, the legal industry in my case. Would you firm, or your clients, be understanding if you needed to take some time for mental health treatment, or would they start looking for a new lawyer or employee? In my own role as a consultant, if I wasn’t available because I was seeing a therapist, would it be something that was widely understood and supported?
I wish I could say yes, but somehow I doubt it.
That’s not to say that no one would be supportive, or that even the company I work for wouldn’t be. I hope so. But, there would be a price somewhere. Somewhere down the line there’s going to be someone who doesn’t get it, and doesn’t care. They just want their stuff done, now. That’s the way it works in legal. If you can’t be responsive pretty much all the time, someone else will be. How do you prioritize mental health care in that kind of environment?
I, honestly, don’t know. I hope I never have to find out what would happen if I needed to take time to get help.
What do you think would happen in your workplace?