AS@W Antidepressant Skills at Work: Dealing with Mood Problems in the Workplace
Making Decisions About Workplace Depression
How can I return to work successfully?

When you have been off work due to depression, it is important to prepare for your work return. If you have been receiving care from a physician or mental health specialist, they might evaluate your fitness to return to work, based on your current functioning. If you are on long-term disability, you might be working with a rehabilitation consultant who will assist you with planning your work return. Your employer should be alerted to your return so that they can make appropriate arrangements, which may include the provision of workplace accommodations. The following suggestions will increase the likelihood of a successful and sustained return to work:

  • Actively participate in developing your return to work plan.
    Learn about company programs and policies, and identify opportunities for support at work. Use the strategies in this guide to creatively address problems, challenge unrealistic thoughts and build your level of work activity.
  • It is often helpful to cooperate with requests for information or further evaluation.
    Communication among all those concerned can be critical to ensure effective work return. When you are providing information, it is usually best to be straightforward and specific in describing your current functioning and pointing out those aspects of the job that may be challenging.
  • Be realistic, patient and flexible as you return.
    Consider what you will say to your coworkers and how you will address unresolved issues. Pace yourself – you won’t likely be at your previous level of productivity immediately. Identify possible triggers or signs that you may be slipping and develop a plan to address these. Continue your self care efforts to support yourself at work.
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