"For me one of the hardest parts was returning to work after I had been absent due to my depression. I kept wondering what people would think of me, and for the first few days it was very awkward. People were kind but none of us really knew how to deal with the situation. I was so afraid that my illness would return and that this time my employer wouldn't be so understanding."
Returning to work after a psychological illness is challenging. It is a time of transition for the individual, the line manager, and colleagues. Research* has shown that when the individual and the workplace feel supported, the return to work process is smoother and more effective.
AHR's Return to Work Service is designed to provide an effective process which manages the needs and expectations of both the individual and the organisation. This process:
- Engages with the individual to help orient them prior to their return to work, in dealing with any fears or concerns they may have and ensuring that appropriate strategies are in place to deal with any problems which may arise
- Works with line managers and the organisation in helping them prepare for and manage the return to work process in a clear, open and supportive manner
- Supports both the individual and the work team in the weeks and months afterwards to ensure that any underlying concerns or problems are appropriately addressed.
Delivered by experienced Counsellors and Psychologists, each programme is developed in accordance with the specific needs of your situation. Typically a programme will involve six to eight telephone support sessions with both the individual and organisation, with face-to-face support being provided where appropriate.
*The Department of Work and Pensions in the UK (2008)