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off work due to mental health

(16 Posts)
Soapmaker34 Sun 31-Jan-16 12:47:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeautyIsTruth Sun 31-Jan-16 12:50:53

Can't your GP give you a fit note for longer than 2 weeks? I was off sick with depression and I had a fit note for 2 months.

Does your work have occupational health or a counselling service?

Soapmaker34 Sun 31-Jan-16 12:57:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Soapmaker34 Sun 31-Jan-16 14:44:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scarydinosaurs Sun 31-Jan-16 14:50:20

Have you been referred for any treatment for your anxiety/actual MH problem?

Perhaps the next person you see could recommend a longer sick note?

Soapmaker34 Sun 31-Jan-16 14:57:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scarydinosaurs Sun 31-Jan-16 15:48:07

Definitely ask them, a GP has to issue your note, but they can act on reccomedations of other HCP.

Millie2013 Sun 31-Jan-16 17:24:37

This was me a year ago, GP ended up writing sick notes for 8 weeks, as the constant contact with work was making me worse. In the end, with occ health input, I decided not to go back. I'm not saying this is what you should do, but it was the best (only) decision for me
I'm giving myself some time to get better, then going to start looking for another (different) job

NanaNina Tue 02-Feb-16 00:42:05

You definitely need sick notes for longer than 2 weeks - 2 months would be better. When you say the nurse, is this a MH nurse at the practice. If so could she ask the GP to sign you off for longer periods, or you could ask the GP. Are the meds doing any good at all.

I'm wondering why your employers needs to be in touch with you. Once the 2 week sick note runs out I assume you get another, so why is h/she needing to contact you. The is inappropriate and could be seen as harassment. Are you in a Union?

You might not want to answer but are you a teacher by any chance?

No now is not the time to give your notice in but at least is sounds like that's a possibility.

NanaNina Tue 02-Feb-16 00:43:12

Sorry mean to say there is a Mental Health Section, so you could ask MNHQ to move this over, where you will get more response I think.

NanaNina Tue 02-Feb-16 00:44:27

Sorry meant to say there is a Mental Health Section, so you could ask MNHQ to move this over, where you will get more response I think.

Enjoyingtheattention Sat 06-Feb-16 17:22:53

Soap maker, sorry to hear you've been unwell. Firstly can I reassure you that you will recover and get back to work. Please do not make any rash decisions re you're job at this current time as you are feeling fragile and therfore may regret any decisions made on this basis, once you're back to your normal self again.

I'm a mental health clinician and specialise in job retention, so hopefully am equipped to advise you.

If you haven't done so already, please see your GP in person and request a longer sick note...bear in mind that should you recover sooner than the end date on the note, your GP can issue you with a fit note in the meantime. Explain to the GP that your medication is still not effective - it may need to be increased if you are on a starting dose or changed. You will also need to have a chance with counselling. Evidence shows that a combination of both anti-depressant medication and CBT has the best outcome for the treatment of depression/ anxiety.

Your employer isn't harassing you, as another poster suggested could be the case. They have a sickness absense policy with procedures to follow - and a duty of care to you as their employee to look out for you. The policy will clearly suggest that they make regular contact with you. If you have only been issued with fortnightly sick notes, they will obviously be contacting you to see if you are coming back, as they have a business to run and need to know how to plan for your absence.

It is important to ensure you are seen by Occ Health. They will advise your manager on any reasonable adjustments ie support you require at work. Eg a change of hours, duties etc. It would be helpful for you to think about what is causing you stress at work and discuss this with the Occupational health advisor. They should be recommending that your employer completes a workplace stres risk assessment with you on your return, as it has been workplace stress that has triggered your illness. You should also return to work on a phased return.

Sorry for the length of my reply. Hope it helps and wishing you the very best in your recovery.

Soapmaker34 Sat 06-Feb-16 19:06:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NanaNina Sat 06-Feb-16 21:54:08

Hi soapmaker I am a retired social worker/manager and had a career spanning some 30 years all in Children's Services. I retired in 2004 and worked freelance for 5 years. The writing was on the wall when I left the LA in 2004 but noting like it is now, and I am in no way surprised that you are overwhelmed and are suffering MH problems. I think this is happening to a good many social worker and teachers (as you're between the devil and the deep blue sea with social work and teaching)

The problem is it's not going to get any better - we have a government that doesn't value public services and has swung an axe at the budgets but at the same time are expecting improved service delivery. Any fool can tell you that can't be done. I imagine it's the volume of the work that is the biggest problem as you don't have time to think between one visit and the next and the 26 week limit in care proceedings etc. Managers are often incompetent and they are being squeezed by senior managers so they pass the stress down the line.

I could cry when I see what's happening. I started my social worker career in 1980 and I loved every single day of my job because we were valued, caseloads were protected, managers were supportive and care proceedings were quite rare. I managed a fostering & adoption team for the past 15 years and again it was a very happy time with a cohesive and experienced team - there was a lot of humour but the work got done.

Enjoy has some interesting comments especially about talking to Occy Health about what has caused your mental health problems, and yes ask for an admin job if one is available. I absolutely agree that you can't go back to safeguarding work unless you are 100% fit, physically and mentally.

Interestingly I suffered a severe depression following the death of my closest friend when I was a manager and I was SO supported. I was an IP for 3 months and I made a complete recovery but I never saw anyone from Occy Health - I went back on a part time basis. My little office had been painted (the team had done it) and my manager left me a huge bouquet of flowers on my desk.

I relapsed in 2009 and had to finish my freelance work and was an IP again for 3 months but haven't made a complete recovery and this is the 7th year that I've been on this emotional rollercoaster, which is why I'm on the MH thread.

Have you got any RL support?

Soapmaker34 Sat 06-Feb-16 22:05:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NanaNina Tue 09-Feb-16 16:09:19

You are one of many soapmaker - CSs has just been moved to a house in our local park (they've had to sell all the buildings because of the budget shortfall) and I gather some social workers are sitting in car parks on a laptop. Anyway I was in the park about 6 p.m. and saw 3 women talking together by their cars and I just knew they were social workers in a stressed state, so I went up and asked how things were going - whoosh the flood gates opened and they said it was horrendous, massive workloads, managers who treat them like shit etc etc. All 3 were doing safeguarding work. One of them had trained as a teacher and left after a year because of the stress. I felt so sorry for them.

I think there will be more openings for you that child protection, once you are feeling better. What about Leaving Care team, family support, or even Adult services (though that is not without problems) or you could try working for one of the voluntaries, Barnardoes, NSPCC or Action for Children. As you know they don't do statutory work but run some interesting groups. Or you could try LA fostering and adoption - again can be stressful but not like child protection and court work. It doesn't have to be admin work, and it would be a shame not to make good use of your social work training but now is not the time to make decisions, you need to get better first which I'm sure you will given time.

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