Telling your employer you have a mental health condition

Oct 24, 2014

Disclosing to an employer that you have a mental health condition is a very personal decision, and there are several questions you should consider before making the decision to do so.

While there are existing laws to ensure employers provide a physically and mentally healthy workplace, employees also have obligations.

Someone experiencing a mental health condition does not have a legal responsibility to tell their employer – if it doesn’t have an impact on doing their job. This applies to an existing employee, or a potential employee.

It would be advisable for an employee to raise the issue with their employer if it does impact on how they do their job, particularly if it affects the health and safety areas of their work, such as being able to operate machinery or make critical decisions.

Before making that decision, however, there are several questions you should think about first, such as:


  • Is your mental health condition affecting your ability to perform your role safely?
  • Is your mental health condition affecting your performance and long-term career goals?
  • Is the stress of hiding your mental health condition further affecting your wellbeing?
  • Does your employer have an organisation-wide mental health strategy?
  • Does your employer have a specific policy regarding returning to work after a mental-health related absence?
  • Are there support resources available, including third-party support services?
  • Is there a specific privacy policy that will ensure your manager keeps any information you give them confidential?
  • Do you know of anyone else in the workplace who has disclosed a mental health condition, and can they give you advice?

Create better workplace health: register with Heads Up

To discover how you can implement change and build a happier, healthier and more productive workplace, register for Heads Up, a joint initiative of beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance (MHWA).


Heads Up on LinkedIn 

If you would like more information and resources about how to create a more mentally healthy workplace, please visit our LinkedIn company page, which is regularly updated with stories and links related to the issue.

If you would like to join the discussion about a mentally healthy workplace, please visit our LinkedIn group page and become part of the conversation.

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