Down but not out: Mental health disability management in the new age

Fiore Lalla, Canada

McGill University


At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Work with patients suffering from mental health problems to:

    • First: promote full function

    • Stay at work

    • Know how to properly fill insurance documents with a psychiatric slant

    • Return to work

Questions Submitted

  • Hi Fiore, If a patient is off work due to mental health issue, ie workplace conflict etc, can they go out of town during their time off ? Is this considered " vacation" time and therefore should not be taken during the time off for a disability ? Thanks Orly

  • I have a rather high functioning patient who has quit their job and is searching for another job, he has severe anxiety. He wants a letter of proof for his future potential employer stating that he has severe anxiety and would benefit from part time employment to reduce possible future episodes of needing time off due to acute adjustment issues related to the underlying anxiety that tends to be exacerbated by a full time/ busy schedule (however it is the nature of his occupation). How would you approach this?

  • You commented.a little bit about this but I’ve had several scenarios where a patient really isn’t doing well at one particular job either due to a toxic environment etc. and has a legitimate adjustment reaction, but needs income and is in the process of studies for a new career or applying for another job where they feel they will be much better suited and they state that this would probably “cure” their symptoms…how do you approach filling out disability forms for these individuals? As you mentioned, if they are well enough to apply for another job they should be well enough to work at least part time but if they are having major conflict or issues with a coworker impacting their health this is tricky. Thanks.

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