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Mental Illness, ADAAA, and the Workplace: Taking Responsibility as an Employer

Wed, June 03, 2020 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM EDT 90 Minutes Credits HRCI 1.5 & SHRM 1.5 PDCs

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Speaker : Dr. Susan Strauss RN Ed.D is a national and international speaker, trainer and consultant. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse


Areas Covered

  • To differentiate mental health from mental illness
  • To discuss the most frequent mental health conditions with emphasis on depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
  • To identify the demographic groups most at risk for mental health issues
  • To examine the myths of mental illness
  • To list signs of possible mental health issues
  • To outline U.S. mental illness statistics
  • To explain mental illness as an ADA protected disability
  • To describe the interactive process required by the ADA
  • To explore ADA required accommodations
  • To examine the role of the workplace to create a healthy environment
  • To combat negative stigma of mental illness in the workplace
  • To generate a workplace culture of well-being

Overview

More and more people are complaining of feeling depressed, hopeless and just plain out of sorts.Therapists indicate that more and more people are seeking therapy, especially since the 2016 election. Millennials, the largest work group in our workplaces, have an increase in depression. These are your employees—What are your responsibilities as a manager or HR professional in recognizing and helping them?How can you ensure your organization’s climate is a safe and healthy place rather than a climate that might exacerbate poor mental health?

Employers are seeing more mental health issues in their workforce than ever before.Each year 1 in 5 adults is stricken with a mental illness (National Institute of Mental health), making mental illness an everyday reality for many of your employees.Yet, only 1 in 3 people seek help with their illness. The ADA, HIPPA, FMLA and most states’ human/civil rights department dictate how employers deal with employees’ with mental health problems.Privacy laws create challenges for employers to determine how serious a situation is and whether an employee poses a danger (though those with a mental illness pose no more risk of violence than those without a mental illness).

Examples ofthe most common psychological disorders include major depression and dysthymia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia and an array of personality disorders.Those individuals with depression have 2.5 times the risk of on the job injury.Workplace depression results in 200 million lost days annually.The disease is common, debilitating, and the number one cause of disability worldwide.Employers lose an estimated $52 billion annually in loss of productivity and insurance payments.

In 2016, the EEOC resolved 5000 disability based claims dealing with mental health conditions costing employers approximately $20 million.With the increase in claims came an EEOC newly released Guidance on Mental Health Discrimination which is addressed to employees informing them of their employment rights under the ADA.

Workplaces can and should play a significant role in minimizing their employees’ mental health risks. Employee stress levels continue to rise as more and more employees spend more and more hours at work without an increase in pay or benefits. Burnout and depression, particularly to millennials and millennial women are reported more than any other generation.

Why Should You Attend

Mental illness is a largely misunderstood disease that carries much stigma in society and in the workplace.70% of people with depression are employed, many do not seek treatment and when they do—medication is able to help only about 66% of those who are depressed.Approximately 20% of the population has any one of a number of personality disorders—those who do are often difficult to manage.Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses with some research suggesting it is the most common U.S. mental health problem; other research indicates depression is the number one disability.Mental illness is a covered disability under the ADAAA and therefore is subject to the law of the ADAAA including the requirement to engage in an interactive process.Managers and HR professionals often walk a delicate line in dealing with employees who may have a mental illness or exhibit signs and symptoms that give pause in considering if an employee needs to be referred for outside assistance such as EAP.But how does one refer a troubled employee without violating the ADA?What steps should an organization take to create a stigma-free workplace that is centered on the well-being of its employees’ physical and mental health? These issues will be discussed in this webinar.

Who will Benefit

  • HR
  • Risk Management
  • Any employee
  • All industries
  • Manager

This activity has been approved for 1.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Please make note of the activity ID number on your recertification application form. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org

This program is valid for 1.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®


Your Instructor


Dr. Susan Strauss
Dr. Susan Strauss

Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer and consultant. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse and her undergraduate degree is in psychology and human services. Her specialty areas include discrimination, harassment, and bullying; management/leadership development, and organization development. She conducts harassment and bullying investigations and works as an expert witness for discrimination lawsuits.


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