Finding a Job While Living with a Mental Health Condition

Finding a job can be overwhelming, especially when you are living with a mental health condition. Often, people with mental health conditions who are searching for a job worry about disclosing their condition during the hiring process, or requesting accommodations, or dealing with the emotional repercussions of not receiving a job offer. For some people, symptoms of mental health conditions may even worsen during a difficult job searching process. But don’t give up! There are many strategies you can utilize during the hiring process to alleviate stress and protect your mental health.

There are three main things to keep in mind while looking for a job while living with a mental health condition. Read to discover these things below.

Search For a Job You Enjoy

A key step in starting the job search process is understanding the benefits of finding the right job. Finding a job you enjoy can have positive effects on your mental health, as you will have the opportunity to use your skills, gain financial independence, and boost your confidence. The right job can also give you a sense of fulfillment and an environment to have meaningful interactions with others. Overall, employment can play a key role in recovery while living with a mental health condition.

Now that you know the benefits of finding the right job, you can start searching for a job you enjoy. While applying to jobs, try to find positions that play to your strengths and skills. Using your talents while working can bring you a sense of satisfaction. Keep in mind your ideal work environment. Do you prefer to work in teams, or independently? Apply for positions that have the type of work environment you are looking for.

Disclose Only When You’re Comfortable Doing So

Disclosing a mental health condition on a job application or during an interview is voluntary. If you feel uncomfortable telling an employer about your condition, you do not have to. Do not feel guilty for not disclosing your condition, because under the law, you are not obliged to do so. Many people with mental health conditions have jobs where their employers do not know about their condition.

If you feel that disclosing your mental health condition during the hiring process is necessary, you can absolutely do so. When disclosing a mental health condition to an employer, remember to be honest, direct, and only share relevant information that pertains to the job you hold and how your condition may affect your work. 

Don’t Give Up

Searching for a job is often stressful. The waiting period can be overwhelming, applications may seem daunting, and not receiving a job offer can be emotionally draining. Don’t give up! Take one step at a time, and remember that finding the right job can take longer than expected. Do not be afraid to take a break from the process. If you feel emotionally drained or overwhelmed at any time, take a day to practice self-care or seek support from others. Lastly, keep in mind that receiving a rejection is not the end of the world. There are plenty of jobs out there that would be a great fit for you. If you do not receive a job offer, identify what you liked about that position and apply to more jobs with similar traits. 

By searching for a job you enjoy, disclosing your condition only when you are comfortable doing so, and not giving up, you can protect your mental health during your job search. If you have questions or need assistance during the process of finding a job while living with a mental health condition, contact us today.

Life After Paralysis Podcast: Ableism

In Episode #2 of Life After Paralysis, Tiffiny holds a roundtable discussion on the topic of Ableism with three people with disabilities – Kelly Narowski, Froy de la Pena and Tim Abbott. A new term for the centuries-old issue of discrimination towards the disabled, Ableism is something every person with a disability experiences.

  • Listen here or in the player below. Run-time is 55 minutes.
  • Listen on iTunes here

Guest Profiles:

Kelly Narowski: A professional speaker, ADA compliance expert and disability advocate, Kelly is a paraplegic from a car accident in the late 1990’s. She is also a military wife and dog lover. Visit her site

– Froy d la Pena: A paraplegic originally from the Phillipines, Froy now lives in Montana.

Tim Abbott: A British man with cerebral palsy living in North Dakota, Tim has an interesting perspective. He also hosts his own podcast/radio called Technical Difficulties.