Accommodations for people with mental health considerations

There is no comprehensive list of accommodations for people who are dealing with mental health issues. Accommodations tend to be based on the individual needs of Employees as well as on the resources available to the Employer. In some instances, a small Employer will be unable to provide the same type of accommodation as a larger Employer. In most cases, accommodations are inexpensive and involve workplace flexibility rather than capital expenditures. Source: www.mentalhealthworks.ca

It is important to note that the following are suggested examples only. Given the scope and diversity of psychiatric disorders, limitations may affect cognitive, emotional and social functioning. These limitations may be temporary or intermittent, and, in some cases, may require long-term accommodation. Consequently, each Employee’s situation must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The most commonly used accommodations for people with mental health problems include the following.

Flexible scheduling

  • Flexibility in the start or end of working hours to accommodate effects of medication or for medical appointments.
  • Part-time work (which may be used to return a worker to full-time employment).
  • More frequent breaks.

Changes in supervision

  • Modifying the way instructions and feedback are given. For example, written instructions may help an Employee focus on tasks.
  • Having weekly meetings between the supervisor and Employee may help to deal with problems before they become serious.

Modifying job duties

  • Exchanging minor tasks with other Employees.

Changes in training

  • Allowing the person to attend training courses that are individualized.
  • Allowing extra time to learn tasks.

Using technology

  • Providing the Employee with a tape recorder to tape instructions from a supervisor, training programs and meetings, if they have difficulty with memory.
  • Allowing an Employee to use headphones to protect them from loud noises.

Modifying work space or changing location

  • Allowing an Employee to relocate to a quieter area where they will be free fromdistractions.
  • Allowing an Employee to work at home.

More than anyone else, an Employee will know what accommodation they need to allow them to work productively. By talking directly with the Employee, you will be able to come up with solutions that meet the needs of the individual as well as the organization.