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Mental health and the workplace

Your health before or after you begin work

If you are returning to work after being ill or you have never worked before and are wondering if you have to tell employers about your health, here is some information that might help you figure out what to do.

In Australia there is no legal obligation to disclose a medical condition unless the illness is likely to affect performance in an inherent requirement of the job, including the ability to work safely and ensure the safety of co-workers.

It is up to you to consider your individual condition and if you do think it will impact your ability to do your job safely and let them know accordingly, so they can make adjustments if necessary.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to disclosure and it is an individual decision.  You may also want to read up on disclosure in more detail and get all the facts on www.jobaccess.gov.au

Need help getting back to work or school after illness?

The Disability Employment Services can assist people with a mental illness in getting back to work and put you in touch with employers who may be more understanding about your needs.

To access their services go to www.jobsearch.gov.au and click on the 'find a provider' link.

If you have been struggling with school or have stopped attending and feel like some extra support would help, a Youth Connection worker might be a good option. To find a youth connections worker in your state, click through to this link www.transitions.youth.gov.au.

If you feel that you might benefit from assistance with other aspects of your life that are impacting your ability to get work, you may want to consider the Personal Helpers and Mentor Program.

Personal Helpers:

  • help participants to better manage their daily activities and reconnect to their community
  • provide direct and personalised assistance through outreach services
  • provide referrals and links with appropriate services such as drug and alcohol and accommodation services
  • work with participants in the development of Individual Recovery Plans which focus on participants' goals and recovery journey
  • engage and support family, carers and other relationships, and
  • Monitor and report progress against each participant's Individual Recovery Plan. Find a Personal Helper & Mentor service