Mental Illness, ADAAA, and the Workplace: A Challenging Responsibility for HR and Management (EDUN77T)

Presented By: Dr. Susan Strauss , Ed.D.
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Event Details
  • Pre-recorded Webinar
  • 90 minutes
  • Thu, November 9, 2017
Event Description

Creating a Stigma-Free Workplace Culture for Mental Illness While Ensuring Compliance with ADA

Mental illness is a largely misunderstood disease that carries much stigma in society and in the workplace and employers are seeing more mental health issues in their workforce than ever before.  Each year 1 in 5 adults is stricken with a mental illness as per the National Institute of Mental Health, making mental illness an everyday reality for many of your employees. Yet, only 1 in 3 people seek help with their illness. Employee stress levels continue to rise as more and more employees spend more and more hours at work without an increase in pay or benefits. Examples of the most common psychological disorders include major depression and dysthymia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia and an array of personality disorders. Burnout and depression, particularly to millennials, especially millennial women, are reported more than for any other generation. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses with some research suggesting it is the most common U.S. mental health problem; other research indicates depression is the number one disability. 70% of people with depression are employed, many do not seek treatment and when they do—medication is able to help only about 66% of those who are depressed. Approximately 20% of the population has any one of a number of personality disorders—those who do are often difficult to manage.

Those individuals with depression have 2.5 times the risk of on-the-job injury. Workplace depression results in 200 million lost days annually. The disease is common and debilitating. Employers lose an estimated $52 billion annually in loss of productivity and insurance payments. In 2016, the EEOC resolved 5000 disability based claims dealing with mental health conditions costing employers approximately $20 million. With the increase in claims came a newly released Guidance on Mental Health Discrimination by the EEOC which is addressed to employees informing them of their employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA).

Workplaces can and should play a significant role in minimizing their employees’ mental health risks. The ADA, HIPPA, FMLA and most states’ human/civil rights department dictate how employers deal with employees with mental health problems. Mental illness is a covered disability under the ADAAA and therefore is subject to the law of the ADAAA including the requirement to engage in an interactive process. Privacy laws create challenges for employers to determine how serious a situation is and whether an employee poses a danger (though those with a mental illness pose no more risk of violence than those without a mental illness). Managers and HR professionals often walk a delicate line in dealing with employees who may have a mental illness or exhibit signs and symptoms that give pause in considering if an employee needs to be referred for outside assistance such as EAP. But how does one refer a troubled employee without violating the ADA? What steps should an organization take to create a stigma-free workplace that is centered on the well-being of its employees’ physical and mental health? This session by expert speaker Dr. Susan Strauss will discuss these issues in detail.

Session Highlights

  • Differentiate mental health from mental illness
  • Discuss the most frequent mental health conditions with emphasis on depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
  • Identify the demographic groups most at risk for mental health issues
  • Examine the myths of mental illness
  • Differentiate between personality traits and personality disorders
  • List signs of possible mental health issues
  • Explore the costs of mental illness to U.S. businesses
  • Outline U.S. mental illness statistics
  • Define “current”, “past”, and “perceived” disabilities
  • Explain mental illness as an ADA protected disability
  • Describe the interactive process required by the ADA
  • Explore  accommodations required by the ADA
  • Examine the role of the workplace to create a healthy environment
  • Combat negative stigma of mental illness in the workplace
  • Generate a workplace culture of well-being

Session Objectives

  • To minimize liability based on the American Disabilities Act
  • Details about depression, anxiety, and a variety of personality disorders
  • Have a better understanding about mental illness and the organization’s role in supporting their mentally ill employees
  • To understand the ethical and legal responsibility of HR and mangers when dealing with those employees who may have a mental illness
  • Strategies an organization should design and implement to ensure their work culture is one of respect and dignity to all employees

Who Should Attend

This session will benefit the following personnel in all industries:

  • Supervisors
  • Managers
  • HR personnel
  • Risk management personnel
  • Employees

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About Our Speaker(s)

Dr. Susan Strauss Ed.D.
Susan Strauss Ed.D. is an international speaker, trainer, consultant and recognized expert on harassment. She also conducts harassment and workplace bullying investigations and functions as a consultant to attorneys as well as an expert witness in harassment lawsuits. Her clients are from education, business, healthcar... More info