They don't need special treatment, says expert

People with mental health issues do not need to be treated differently at the workplace.

In fact, they don't need special treatment, said Dr Lori Ashcraft, a US-based mental health recovery expert.

"Importantly, persons with mental health issues want to be employed based on merit and not out of sympathy," said Dr Ashcraft, who spoke at the Singapore Mental Health Conference last month.

The executive director of Recovery Innovations, which helps mentally-ill people recover and be reintegrated into the community, shared tips for potential employers:

  • Be clear about the job scope and expectations and describe specific tasks
  • Use tools to help them better understand their job. For example, performance evaluation with a strengths-focused approach is effective for persons in recovery.
  • If the employee's performance needs to be corrected, address the issue as soon as possible.