A young lawyer at one of Australia’s top law firms details how he felt the profession let him down when he began struggling with depression.
Some important lessons there…
It’s highly likely and expected that depression and anxiety are present in most if not all professions.
High pressure and long work hours don’t contribute to a healthy work environment. I personally regard suggestions that in some cases it’s unavoidable as daft. We have occupational health & safety regulations coming out of our ears, but a job destroying a person’s mental health is ok? Not with me.
Companies have a responsibility to care for their employees. They can develop mental health needs regardless of its origin. Ignoring it doesn’t make the issues go away, but it can cause the employee to have to leave at some point, or depart through even more sad circumstances. Is that acceptable practice? I don’t think it is. Companies can and should do better than that. And definitely do better than just pay lipservice to providing support.
I know of companies that have specifically requested bluehackers stickers from me. While that in itself is no guarantee that their mental healthcare support is up to scratch, but it’s a hopeful sign that they try to acknowledge and care.
I’ve been thinking about putting up a page on bluehackers where companies can explicitly declare support. They’d be listed with their name and logo and specific mental healthcare related things they’d like to say – in return they are of course open to scrutiny as to how they actually support their employees. If companies live up to these aspirations, (prospective) employees know they will have a mentally safe working environment. It can also serve as an example for other companies!
If you reckon such a page is a good idea, please comment on this post! Additional suggestions welcome as well, of course.
because we're not just geeks – we're humans.