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To be terrified of an occupational health assessment

(28 Posts)
mrgrouper Sat 25-Jun-16 14:15:22

I have just got a job as a salaried teacher trainee. My big worry is now I have to do an occupational health assessment. I have Asperger's and have been sectioned twice for psychosis. I have been free of relapse for 7 years and have not seen a psychiatrist in 3 years as they discharged me.
I really want the job but am scared if I tell the truth on the form I will fail. Any advice please?

Hopingforsomesunshine Sat 25-Jun-16 14:37:34

Occupational health are usually 'on your side,' trying to keep you in work with any necessary adaptations. I think the disability discrimination laws make it difficult for people to discriminate based on MH conditions as well.

mrgrouper Sat 25-Jun-16 14:43:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VashtaNerada Sat 25-Jun-16 14:44:16

Are you able to do your job? If so, try not to worry. That's all they need to check - whether you can you do your job, and do you need any support. Don't lie about your past but also talk about your health over the last few years, how much better you are, and that you know to ask for help if things get bad again.

JeepersMcoy Sat 25-Jun-16 14:45:06

In my experience (local government) occ health are the ones fighting your corner when things get tough. All the OH people I have met and worked with will give everything to keep someone in a job even if their management are being difficult. I would be honest with them. Anything you tell them should be confidential and not shared with anyone ese without your permission. If you feel uncomfortable putting it in writing maybe ask for an appointment to speak to someone in person.

Congratulations on the new job smile

mrgrouper Sat 25-Jun-16 14:46:12

It is not the council occy health, they have contracted it out to some private health firm.

mrgrouper Sat 25-Jun-16 17:45:10

spoke to my dad who has advised lying through it. I would rather be honest but scared I will lose my job over this

Mouikey Sat 25-Jun-16 18:19:56


Try not to worry... Occupational Health, whilst employed by the employer are also there to represent you. You can ask to see the report before it gets sent to the employer (and I would always recommend you do). Be honest, this is important as you will be asked to give access to your medical records (you can refuse of course). Also if there are issues they have a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments.

I was in a situation whereby a member of the team did not divulge an issue that had a huge impact on their work, but they got very angry when it wasn't properly accommodated. Eventually it was divulged, but the relationship was utterly fractured, even though we tried everything possible to get things in place to help them be successful in the role. The sadly decided to leave. The lesson here was had we as employers known the issue, it could have easily been accommodated in a positive way.


Mouikey Sat 25-Jun-16 18:21:25

p.s. i had to go to OH a couple of times, once for bad back (they were terrible), once for major tummy surgery (because unusual they were very interested) and once for an underlying medical condition (which was dealt with really well).

x2boys Sat 25-Jun-16 18:29:15

If you lie on your occy health form and they find out you may well lose your job i,m an ex RMN from the sounds of it you seem to have your mental health well managed and occupational health could help your employer to make any reasonable adjustments if needed i worked with a guy who had several mental health breakdowns and was sectioned several times but still passed his health interview to work in the same mental health trust that treated him as a patient .

ilovesooty Sat 25-Jun-16 18:44:19

Your dad is evidently stupid if he has suggested that you lie. If you seriously consider taking his advice you may well be sacked later on.

mrgrouper Sat 25-Jun-16 18:51:55

my dad is a bit stupid

FoggyBottom Sat 25-Jun-16 19:31:53

Don't lie on your form. If you lie, and then need reasonable adjustment (under the DDA) you're completely stuffed.

RubbleBubble00 Sat 25-Jun-16 19:49:35

Tell the truth. Shown your mental health is well managed.

DeathStare Sat 25-Jun-16 19:58:19

spoke to my dad who has advised lying through it. I would rather be honest but scared I will lose my job over this

Do not listen to your dad.

You are highly unlikely to lose your job because of previous mental health issues. You are highly likely to lose your job for lying.

KatsutheClockworkOctopus Sat 25-Jun-16 20:03:08

I work in a school and we use private occupational health. Please don't worry about the assessment. Firstly - we don't see what you put on the health data form. It goes directly to OH. If they feel there's anything they need to follow up they will phone you. This is in complete confidence. Once they've spoken to you, they send us a report showing only information which is relevant to the role and relates to adjustments. Historical events, like those referred to in your OP, would be very unlikely to be included.
It would be entirely illegal to withdraw an offer based on disclosure of a disability as well.
Sorry this is long, but hopefully it has helped. Well done on the job smile

WineIsMyMainVice Sat 25-Jun-16 20:16:35

Occ health may not even tell your employer if they think you are fit to do the job and don't need any adjustments. Please don't be terrified. You will be covered by legislation which means that they couldn't withdraw the offer based purely on this health condition. But please be honest - for your own sake as well as theirs. Good luck.

x2boys Sat 25-Jun-16 20:42:10

And tbh if its been seven yrs since your last psychotic episode then it should be mainly irrelevant now anybody at any time can have a psychotic episode in regards to your aspergers diagnosis i cant think why it would be relevant to your job unless you need some adjustments but if you do then imo it would be discriminatory to take back the job offer.

mrgrouper Sun 26-Jun-16 09:45:34

Thank you for your lovely messages. I am feeling really positive now. Both psychotic episodes were triggered by antidepressants, which I react badly to. Since the doctors established that, I have not taken them and been fine. I did not declare my Asperger's at interview as I was specifically asked do I have any illnesses which may impact on my job and 1.Asperger's is not an illness and I do not view myself as ill and 2. I do not believe it will impact on my job.

Acopyofacopy Sun 26-Jun-16 09:52:11

I have just done a health questionnaire for my new school and was a bit surprised: my questions were about the here and now and the last year, nothing else.
There is a good chance that you can fill this in 100% truthfully without disclosing any of your past issues.

When I started teacher training a year ago I was actually quite ill and on strong meds. I disclosed this but declared myself "fit for the job". Never heard anything back.
Good luck!

Sugarlightly Sun 26-Jun-16 10:00:43

DONT LIE. If there ever comes a time you are ill again (hopefully not) and your employers find out that you have a long term illness or disability, they may not offer you support if you didn't tell them in the first place. Occupational Health are there to help you: your employers want to employ you and you are well now so it won't change a thing.

mrgrouper Sun 26-Jun-16 10:12:50

my dad had a right go at me actually. Accused me of jeopardising my job. He can be annoying sometimes. I am going to be honest and follow the advice given here.
Looking forward to the new post.

KatsutheClockworkOctopus Sun 26-Jun-16 12:20:16

I'm sorry to hear about your dad mrgrouper. Please be reassured you are doing the right thing. Answering OH honestly will not put your job in jeopardy - it will ensure you get any help you need to do it successfully. For what it's worth, you come across as someone who's thoughtful and courageous - I think you will do very well in your new post.

Cloudhopping Sun 26-Jun-16 12:43:56

I am an Occupational Health Adviser. Be as honest as possible on the form.

The most likely process is that OH would want to arrange either a telephone or face to face appointment with you to have a confidential conversation with you about the issues you have raised on the form. This is to establish your current fitness for the post, whether you have any condition which may be deemed as a disability under the Equality Act and whether you need any adjustments.

To correct a previous poster we would only seek medical records from your GP/ specialist if we needed to ascertain certain medical facts and this would be with your written consent only and would take the form of a report from your doctor, not all your records. The information we pass on to your employer would only be in terms of your fitness for the role, adjustments and whether you're covered by the EA and you should have full knowledge of what information is being passed to your employer, and give your consent for this. We never include irrelevant information eg a past condition which has been stable for some time and is unlikely to impact on work, and work is unlikely to impact on the condition.

OH is there to protect you as well as your employer so please don't worry too much. Our aim is always to get people in to work, or help them sustain work. (Don't listen to your dad!!!)

All the best.

mrgrouper Wed 06-Jul-16 19:45:22

The occupational health firm have now decided they want a report from my GP. I am really worried about this. Wish I had lied now.

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