How to Tell Your Boss You Need Treatment for Depression & How an Intensive Outpatient Program Can Help
Depression is unrelenting. It always seems to be around, and no matter what we do, we can’t shake the constant weight. In the midst of depression, doing everyday tasks feels so difficult – even the most enjoyable ones. When you can’t even find the motivation to spend time with friends or family that you love, getting help can feel insurmountable. Our brains fill with questions: What will help will look like? Will I have to take medication for depression? Will everyone know? Remember that depression is a medical condition, and you deserve professional help. It’s not a failure, and it’s not often something you can overcome on your own. One way to find treatment for depression is through an intensive outpatient mental health program, which allows people suffering from depression to get the help they need without needing to enter a residential treatment facility. If you need to tell your boss that you need treatment for depression, here’s how an intensive outpatient program can help.
How To Tell Your Boss You Have Depression
Many people fear that getting treatment for depression will impact their daily life or work responsibilities. The reality is, depression is probably already doing that. Your coworkers and bosses will likely be supportive of your need to get help because they want you to be at your best.
If you decide to tell your boss that you have depression, it is up to you to determine how much you want to disclose. Don’t let the “stigma” of a mental health prevent you from speaking out to get the help you need. Remember that depression is a medical diagnosis like other physical ailments. You wouldn’t be worried about telling your boss that you have a broken bone or cancer; depression is no different. In fact, just over 8 % of Americans suffer from depression – nearly double those who have cancer. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
It may help to focus the conversation on the realities of how your mental health condition is impacting your work, rather than simply talking about how you feel. That way, when it comes time to say you need help, your boss will understand how it can benefit everyone.
Legal Protections for Depression
You might be afraid that you’ll get fired for speaking out, but the law protects people with mental health challenges. The Americans with Disabilities Act makes it illegal for an employer to fire you simply because of a medical diagnosis like depression. You may find that your boss is more supportive than you think in allowing you to get the help you need. They might even have struggled with depression themselves.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with your boss, an HR rep or an EAP representative may be able to help with what you need. Many employers offer EAPs (employee assistance programs) to help their employees connect with care providers. They can even act as an advocate for you in arranging leave or time off as needed to take care of your mental health. If you’re not sure whether you have an EAP, your HR rep can point you in the right direction.
When discussing treatment with your employer, it’s important to know that residential treatment is not your only option. IOP treatment will allow you to get help for your depression while – in some cases – continuing to work as normal.
What Is An IOP?
An IOP for depression can allow you to get the help you need while continuing with your work responsibilities. While residential mental health care requires someone to live at the facility while they receive help – a good option for people who need constant care or are at risk of self-harm – IOP is more flexible.
IOP allows people to receive many of the same services as residential treatment while returning home or going to work or school in between. Because of this flexibility, you might not need to miss a shift or an assignment while getting the intensive treatment you need.
For that reason, IOP also allows you to integrate your recovery into “real” life from the start. From your very first day in treatment, you’ll begin building a network of care providers, recovery peers, and other professionals who live where you do. You won’t have to rebuild your support system once treatment ends.
Get Help for Depression
Longbranch Recovery is proud to offer IOP for depression and other mental health conditions that will allow you to heal your mind, body, spirit, and family from the roots. If you feel an IOP for depression is right for you, reach out to our counselors at Longbranch. They can talk to you about your condition and the best way to start getting your life back.