Changing job and MH issues

(6 Posts)

Hi everyone, I'm posting for some advice for my DSis. She resigned from her last job in December after suffering from depression and anxiety for some months. Her depression seemed originally to stem not from anything work-related but, as it can do for anyone, to spring out of nowhere, related to a traumatic event which she went through a few years ago.

She explained as well as she could to her manager and asst manager what the problem was and that she was seeking help. She had to take some time off and the managers weren't happy. They invited her to a meeting to which she was allowed to bring a family member (she brought me). She was questioned aggressively about her MH issues and told to tell them why she had been hospitalised on one occasion (she took an overdose). She refused to tell them and got very upset. They said if she wasn't willing to be more open, she would be demoted. She was demoted, and resigned soon after.

Fast forward to now, she's much better, no longer taking ADs and doing well. She's got an interview for a new job soon, and is unsure of what to say when asked why she left the old job. She thinks if she brings up MH issues, they won't hire her. Or if she says she was bullied, they'll consider her a troublemaker. I would use the old 'looking for a new challenge' but she thinks they'll be suspicious, given that the role she's applied for us basically the same as her old job, but in a different company, and for less money. Could anyone advise? I'm so proud of her for getting so much better and would love to see her feeling confident about working again.

Rockchick1984 Sat 30-Mar-13 19:36:17

Sounds like she had a very tough time with her previous employer. I would be tempted to say that she had some health issues (true) which are now under control (true) and that she felt she would be better off resigning as she didn't know how long it would take for her to recover, and she felt it was unfair on her employer to be off indefinitely (not true). Will she be using the previous employer as a reference? (Obviously this is just my personal opinion, official line would be just tell the truth!)

Queenofknickers Sat 30-Mar-13 23:22:23

Your sister has done so well - not surprised you are proud of her smile

Is there any other reason she could use eg looking after elderly relative, house renovations etc? I know it's not right and I can't wait for a world where people aren't judged for having had MH issues or been bullied but we just aren't there yet ( and I work in HR).

I see nothing wrong with giving another answer, even if not quite the truth, if you have good reason that you will be illegally discriminated against if you tell the truth.

emess Sun 31-Mar-13 21:13:58

DH has been in this position recently. I'd go with rockchick. She took time off to deal with health issues, she's back to full strength and is back on the market. I've seen hundreds of CVs in the last couple of years and people take time out for many different reasons. AFAIK, she doesn't have to divulge her illness and if they press her at interview I'm not sure I'd want to work there. Having said that, large employers often require a health form to be completed following a job offer. If she's confident that she can cope and that the depression is behind her then she should have no worries. Good luck to her.

Queenofknickers Sun 31-Mar-13 21:18:01

Don't worry about pre employment health form - they are now illegal. PLUS all they should be allowed to ask her at interview is if her previous health issue might impact on her job and that is all.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, everyone, i will pass your good advice on to her. Fingers crossed she does well!

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