Mental health accommodation: Taking a new approach

There are new, more effective ways to consider mental health accomodation
By Shana French and Brian Wasyliw
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/17/2017

Disability accommodation in the workplace is not a novel topic. Most employers understand they have a duty to accommodate where an employee’s disability prevents him from participation in the workplace. However, disability management becomes more challenging when the disability is mental rather than physical — this is often referred to as an “invisible disability.” 

Many of the barriers to effective disability management arise because the tools commonly used to assess and respond to a request for accommodation of a mental disability have been developed through the lens of physical disability accommodation. 

Accommodation of a mental disability may also be particularly challenging because of the nuanced requirements each condition presents and the fact accommodation, if successful, often requires an employer to modify how human beings interact with each other.