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Case Study - Workplace Depression

Managing OCD, Anxiety and Depression in the Workplace

David is 43 and lives in Alford, Lincolnshire.

He has obsessive compulsive disorder, severe depression, anxiety and has self-harmed. In 2002 he lost his job as a contracts manager with a district council on the grounds of 'incapability' despite 14 years of continuous employment with this and another district council. David needed to take four weeks off work; when he informed his employer that he would require some more time off, he was told "come back in two weeks or your contract will be terminated". David's GP warned that he was not well enough to return to work, and he lost his job.

For the last few years David has been employed as a Community Support Worker with Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, where he declared his health status on applying for the role. Occasionally, David has relapses and needs to take time off work.

How were you supported by your employer when you were off work due to a mental health condition?

"The last time I was off ill with mental health problems it was for about three weeks. The Trust tends to leave me alone and leave it to me to contact them when I'm well enough and to keep them informed of progress."

What measures has your employer provided that has allowed you to return to work successfully after being off due to a mental health condition?

"I tend to come back on a phased return, starting on one day and building up to five days over a period of weeks. This can be extended if needed through occupational health advice. I also have the option of part-time work, for a set period of time."

As an employee what reasonable adjustments has your employer made that has made it easier for you to do your job?

"They have reduced case load for a period to avoid stress, have reduced hours and provide extra supervision if needed. I am able to withdraw from more challenging cases until I'm fully able and confident enough to deal with them."