It is mental health awareness month so I am going to bring something to light, bring it into awareness.
Today my psych sent a note for my appraiser, the person who is in charge of scheduling roles for the state mandated testing. I was previously scheduled to Proctor the test; however, the mere thought of this sends me into a whirl of panic. Hence the note. I thought with a Drs note my pleas for a new role would be taken seriously.
I was taking a risk, allowing this much information about my mental state to be shared with my work. But the risk seemed worth it, except that it wasn’t.
My appraiser refused to switch my role; therefore, in order to protect my own mental health I had to take a half day. More unpaid time off. It would have been so simple for her to just switch me out with someone who had hall duty but she wouldn’t do it. Why? What possibly reason would she have for doing this in a school with at least 200 certified teachers trained to do the job?
Given the freakout they had when I just cried at work, I am baffled. It would seem that when my mental illness is actually explicitly brought to their attention and their help is explicitly solicited then they can’t be bothered. But when it is merely bereavement; they jump to insane conclusions and force me down to HR.
Is anyone else seeing the problem with this? When my mental illness is a problem, I am treated like I shouldn’t be asking for accommodations. When it actually is not a problem but it makes people uncomfortable then, shuttle me off, out of sight. Force me out of the workplace. So which is it? Is my mental illness a real thing or is it not? Does it warrant concern and accommodation or not?
I could be wrong but it feels an awful lot like my mental illness is being regarded as just a joke. Or, maybe it is just seen as less severe than a physical illness. If I had given her a doctor’s note stating that I can’t Proctor because of my kidneys then she would have likely (though, yes, I can’t say for sure) found a way to change my role. The point I am trying to make, despite my assumptions, is that mental illness is not taken as seriously in the workplace as physical illness.
I wish that I could do the idea more justice but I’m just too tired. I’m so tired of fighting this damn battle.