- Help with stress, anxiety or depression
- Help with other common feelings
- Your mental wellbeing
- Improve low mood
- Reduce stress
- 10 stress busters
- Breathing exercise for stress
- Easy time-management tips
- How to cope with money worries
- Depression support
- Mental health at work
- Talking therapies and counselling
- Student mental health
- Counselling for student mental health problems
- Student stress: self-help tips
- Tips on preparing for exams
- Help your child beat exam stress
- Children\'s mental health
- Talking to children about feelings
- Depression in children and young people
- Anxiety in children
- Dealing with child anger
- Children and bereavement
- Helplines and support groups
- Teen mental health
Going to work after mental health issues
If you've had a mental health problem and been off or out of work, you may worry about going back.
You may be concerned about how your colleagues will react, for example, or that you won't be able to cope.
But most people find that going back to work is a positive step, and support is available to help ease your way back in.
Going back to work after taking sick leave
If your job is still open for you, consider talking to your GP before going back to work. Then you can arrange a meeting with your employer or occupational health adviser.
You can discuss anything that concerns you about returning to work, including any recommendations from your GP.
You may wish to ask about:
- flexible hours – you might like to return part-time, for example, or start later in the day if you're sleepy from medication in the mornings
- support from a colleague in the short or long term
- a place you can go for a break when needed
Support for people with mental health problems
By law, employers must make "reasonable adjustments" for workers with disabilities or long-term physical or mental conditions.
This could mean giving someone with social anxiety their own desk rather than expecting them to hot desk, for example.
Fit for Work
Fit for Work offers free advice to people with a health problem who want to stay in or get back to work.
Visit the Fit for Work Advice Hub.
Before you speak to anyone, think about:
- where you would like to work
- what kind of work you would like to do
- what type of support you may need
- your financial situation, including any benefits you're getting
A full-time paid job isn't the only option open to you. There are other possibilities that may suit you, including part-time work or volunteering.
Volunteering is a popular way of getting back into work. Helping other people in need is great for your self-esteem and can take your mind off your own worries.
Plus, volunteer work can improve your chances of getting a paid job when you're ready and, until then, you can carry on claiming your benefits.
Find out more about how to volunteer.
Your rights and the law
Some people worry that when they apply for a job, they will be discriminated against if they admit that they have, or have had, mental or emotional health problems.
But it's illegal for employers to ask health or health-related questions before making a job offer.
It's also illegal to discriminate against people with any kind of health condition or disability, including mental health issues.
How work benefits your mental health
People usually find going back to work after a period of mental illness a positive experience.
Among other things, work can give you:
- a sense of identity and purpose
- the chance to build new friendships
- better financial security
- the feeling that you're playing an active part in society