Workplace stress can have a very real and detrimental effect on our health, as can any ongoing stressors. The CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) refers to stress as “a reaction to a situation” that isn’t necessarily about the actual situation. It goes on to say that we feel stress when our perceived demands of a situation are greater than our resources to deal with them.
When we talk about workplace stress, it is beneficial to determine if it is your workload causing you additional stress, or if other life factors may be inhibiting your ability to cope with the normal pressures of your job. The CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Health and Safety) offers a helpful quiz here to help you determine if you are having trouble handling stress at the moment.
Unfortunately, if your mental health or well-being is compromised – regardless of the cause – it can take a toll on your performance at work. And, it is not just in your employer’s best interest to take steps to help ensure your success at work, they also have a duty to accommodate when it comes to injuries, and illnesses – including mental illness.
What To Do If Your Employer Won’t Listen
Despite training and increased awareness of mental health issues and how they can affect individuals in the workplace, employees may feel that their employers are not paying much attention to their concerns. The CMHA has released a guide to help employers navigate the process of dealing with an employee’s mental health, or addiction issues in the workplace fairly and with the sensitivity that is required. This guide is a great place to start for employers.
If you do not have a union in your workplace to advocate on your behalf, then talking to your employer about the issues you are having is the first step. Surprisingly enough, despite education and awareness campaigns on how to recognize the signs of mental issues, your employer may not know that you are struggling.
You may think it’s obvious, and they’re not paying attention – which may be true – but ignorance isn’t the same as ignoring. Making your employer aware of the issue and how it’s impacting your performance is often all the employer needs, and you can work together to come to a reasonable solution.
Sometimes, this is not effective and you have to take it to another level to advocate for yourself. At this point it’s a good idea to see a doctor to discuss how your workplace stress is impacting you and your ability to function.
Contact an Employment Lawyer
If your employer is not listening to you, let someone else with experience in these matters do the talking for you. Consult with an employment lawyer. A Toronto employment lawyer can help you understand what your options are and help ensure that you are treated fairly by your employer.
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