Mental Illness at Work

It is becoming more common for employers across the United States to address the mental health concerns of their employees, an issue that has rapidly increased over the past decade. Though there have been past misconceptions, scientists have disproven many myths about mental illnesses and employers have observed these fallacies. In fact, employees with mental illnesses or disorders are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA defines disabilities as impairments that limit a person’s ability to work, whether it is physical or mental. This means that an employer cannot violate an employee’s rights if they have a mental illness, including hiring or firing them because of their disability. The ADA also gives privacy rights to an employee, and the right to job accommodations, unless it causes hardships.

Mental Illness and Job Performance

Mental illnesses have been found to severely limit a person’s ability to perform the most basic functions; they are afflicted by several environmental, social and genetic factors. It is reported that 1 out of 5 adults have experienced a mental disease within the past year, this is approximately about 44 million people. Out of those 44 million, 18 have experienced a mental health episode at least once a month. Also, suicide rates have drastically increased 33 percent between the years of 1999 and 2017. Suicide is largely contributed to mental illness, as well as from increased stress in the workplace. Stress from work can result in a serious workplace mental injury.

Types of Mental Illness

There are various forms of mental illness, some are more common. Mental illnesses can include:

  • Anxiety Disorder: This is a disorder where a person is often fearful of the future or is overly worried. A person suffering from anxiety tries to avoid situations that will trigger their anxiety. This often impacts daily functions.
  • Depression: Depression can render a person feeling worthless, and it can severely impact their emotional and physical state. Those that suffer depression may lose their appetite, lose enjoyment in activities, or have brain fog.
  • Drug or Alcohol Addiction: Addict’s actions are controlled by their addiction. This unhealthy dependency affects every aspect of their life.
  • Eating Disorders: People with eating disorders are obsessed with food, weight, and body image. This severely impairs their health, diseases like anorexia can be life-threatening.
  • Other Diseases: There are several other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and post traumatic disorders. All these disorders are protected disabilities in the workplace.


Though employers have spent almost 55 billion dollars annually for treating mental illnesses, awareness starts with the employees. Although studies have shown that roughly 50 percent of employees have experienced a mental illness, only one third of them have reported the issue. In fact, 68 percent of employees believe that reporting their issue would negatively affect their employment.

West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Protect Employees Suffering from Work-Related Mental Injuries

If you are suffering from a mental illness that is directly related to your job, you may be eligible for compensation. Health illnesses have become an epidemic among workplaces across the country. Our compassionate West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello will help you file a claim for your sufferings. Contact us online or call us at 610-892-4940 for a free consultation about your case. Located Media, Pennsylvania, we also serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Reading, and throughout the Philadelphia area.