On this episode of For the Record we spoke with Shane Polak, Disabilities coordinator for the Public Service Alliance of Canada B.C region.
Polak talked about the most common stigmas faced by those living with a mental health disability, as well as workplace accommodations most often needed by individuals living with a psychological disability.
Polak has schizoaffective disorder, and commented on the fact that medications often have a lot to do with perceived laziness or irritability from workers with a mental disorder.
“Some people may be considered lazy because they may be lethargic or slow because of medications….could be looked at as having a dark personality, hard to deal with…it’s really hard to cope as an employee dealing with this because you want to just be understood.”
The lack of awareness is a huge talking point for Polak, who says more education is needed.
“Education for both the employer and employee..to teach people what they should be doing, what accommodations are available, how to accommodate-those are very important pieces of the puzzle without that accommodation nothing will ever be done.”
According to Polak, new legislation to help deal with these and other issues for the disabled community in B.C will likely be put into legislature very soon.