Returning to Work After a Psychological Leave of Absence

Returning to Work After a Psychological Leave of Absence

By Annie Breton, Valcartier Family Centre Career Counsellor

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, every day, 500,000 Canadians are absent from work due to mental health problems.

If you are one of those workers who has been absent from the labour market because of short- or long-term mental health leave, or if you know someone in a similar situation, know that there is hope and that returning to work is possible.

Here are some tips that can help you.

Schedule a meeting with your employer to discuss your return to work, your tasks, workload, projects, and the support you will need to achieve your goals. It is normal to experience anxiety about returning to work.
Be honest with your manager and explain your fears.
Being open about the situation could help identify solutions.
All of these clarifications will help reduce your stress and anxiety.

According to Louise Saint-Arnaud, a researcher for RIPOST (which conducts research on the psychological, social, and organizational impacts of employment), three factors facilitate reintegration into the workplace after a leave of absence:

A gradual return;
the support of coworkers and management;
and especially the improvement of working conditions.

You and your employer have a responsibility to prepare for your return in order to make sure it is a success.

If you have questions on this subject, don’t hesitate to contact the Valcartier Family Centre’s FORT Program. It’s easy, free, and confidential. In Valcartier: 418-844-6060; in Sainte-Foy: 418-649-6505.
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About the author:

Annie_Breton_Headshot
Annie Breton is a Career Counsellor with the Valcartier Family Centre’s FORT Program.
She has been working with Anglophones and military families for over seven years.

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