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Mental health issues from an injury can cause work discrimination

On Behalf of | May 7, 2021 | Employment Law

Mental health issues carry significant social stigma. The average person associates mental health problems with criminal activity, drug use and even violence. This stigma does not necessarily have a basis in reality, nor does it acknowledge the staggering number of people who will, at one point in their life, struggle with mental health.


Some people have mental health issues because of a genetic predisposition, while others develop symptoms due to trauma or other life experiences. A serious personal injury could lead to depression and might eventually have negative consequences on your job even if the injury itself does not.


Serious injuries can affect someone’s mental stability

The physical limitations that accompany a serious injury and the pain people experience after getting hurt can contribute to a decline in mental health. Basically, if you get hurt enough to affect your work, your risk of needing help with depression goes up.


You will be 45% more likely than your non-injured peers to need treatment. You will probably also need more mental health support than those without injuries. The same research showed that injured workers end up paying 63% more than noninjured workers who need mental health care due to depression.


Many of those with serious injuries will require accommodations from their employer to keep working. The company that you work for might accommodate your physical symptoms but may punish you or discriminate against you for the mental consequences of your injury.


Mental health stigma is a big issue in the workplace

Research shows that lack of awareness about mental health issues or outdated assumptions about what causes such issues contributes to the stigma that employees face when dealing with depression. Your manager might write you up for behavioral issues, poor performance or other alleged infractions that are clearly the result of your current mental health struggles.


Workers with depression from an injury or other traumatic event deserve the same support and accommodations as those with visible, physical injuries. It can be difficult to hold the company responsible for mental health discrimination, but doing so can compensate you for the impact of their discrimination and teach them a lesson about how to treat their workers in the future.