Author Topic: Telling an employer about self-harm?  (Read 338 times)

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Offline danceforabeat

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Telling an employer about self-harm?
« on: August 11, 2020, 05:59:36 PM »
Not been on here in ages (just checked and my last post was 2013!), hope no-one minds me popping back in...

Does anyone have any experiences of telling an employer about SH? What was the outcome?

Without going into a boring amount of detail - I have disclosed some MH issues to my team leader, and in mid-March she ended up referring me to counselling, so I assume that means that something will have officially gone to management, but I've never disclosed the self-harming. The SH is often work-related, when I get particularly stressed/anxious/upset about work stuff, though not exclusively. I had gone a few months without doing it, but have started again as I'm particularly struggling right now.

I'm really not sure if I should raise things with my team leader again, and admit to the SH as well. For one thing, I'm not really sure what they can do to adjust things work-wise to help at the moment. Like a lot of people, my employer still has me working from home full-time - there are only a few people going into the office a couple of days a week. I live by myself so I suspect admitting the SH could potentially have consequences related to this. On the other hand, I am really struggling at time right now and I'm not going to get any help with this work-wise unless I actually raise the issue.

If anyone has any experiences/thoughts etc. it would be appreciated.


Online Tucan

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Re: Telling an employer about self-harm?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 06:42:48 PM »
I have only disclosed self harm if it has interacted with my work. Such as needing time off post od. I do however keep them up to date on med changes and my MH. They don't need to know about my sh. Are you still in counselling? Could you talk to your counsellor about it? You could maybe talk to work and say this and that is causing you anxiety and distress.
now hand over the tea bags and we won't have any trouble.... :police:


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Offline danceforabeat

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Re: Telling an employer about self-harm?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2020, 06:56:10 PM »
I'm not in counselling any more - it ended after six sessions and, to be honest, was largely a waste of time. I did tell her about the SH but we didn't discuss it much. I got the impression she wasn't that experienced at dealing with it. I think in theory I can be re-referred, but I can't see the point. Towards the end of 2019 I'd started looking into seeing someone privately, which I might do again - I assume some people will be doing telephone/online sessions.

If you don't mind me asking, what is your employer like with regard to your MH? Are they supportive/helpful?

Online Tucan

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Re: Telling an employer about self-harm?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2020, 07:13:15 PM »
They are supportive. You will find quite a few members in her work.
now hand over the tea bags and we won't have any trouble.... :police:


'Sigh no more ladies sigh no more for men were deceivers ever'

Offline danceforabeat

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Re: Telling an employer about self-harm?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2020, 07:25:09 PM »
It's difficult to know what to do without knowing the potential consequences/outcomes. From past experience, I'm guessing anyone above my team leader will not be supportive. It's also tricky when everything is done by e-mail at the moment. I think I'll just see how things go this week before I raise any issues with work.

Online Lorien

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Re: Telling an employer about self-harm?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2020, 07:54:39 AM »
How are you doing?

I am open about most things with work but keep any acknowledgement of self harm to absolutely need to know people and only if it's really relevant at the time. I only began to do this when an injury meant I couldn't work for a couple of months. I think most large employers are pretty aware of difficulties people may have but less so with smaller companies - exposure I guess. As far as I know, your employer can't really make there be consequences to where or how you work due to a disclosure like that, unless you both think it would help you to not be at home alone so much.

I would be wary though of explaining the relationship between work and self harm because it might come across badly. Broad strokes are usually best - eg explaining it's more likely if you're very stressed etc.
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Offline danceforabeat

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Re: Telling an employer about self-harm?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2020, 01:41:42 PM »
Hi Lorien,

Sorry, I haven’t been here in a few weeks. I managed to not SH for a few weeks, but then I have again today (struggling with work again). I don’t think there’s much I can do though. I know I’m fortunate to be working right now, and I don’t have much choice about working from home right now - I understand why I have to right now. I know the obvious thing would be to look for another job, but that’s much easier said than done - obviously the job market is not great right now and I don’t think I can face job-hunting/applications/potential interviews right now because of my MH. So I’ve just got to get on with it.