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Help Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by vortex566, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. vortex566

    vortex566 New commenter

    Good Morning,

    On Monday I took an overdose before school and collapsed in assembly. It was not a suicide attempt as I suffer with borderline personality disorder with a tendency to self-harm. I'm under a psychologist and taken medication to help me sleep and manage the symptoms. Monday was a slip on my part and now I'm worried I'm going to lose my job. I'm an outstanding teacher and have been teaching for three years and during the three years, I have had no time off work for anything other than a death in the family. As soon as I knew what I had, I let the head and HR know right away.

    Work won't let me come back into work until I have seen occupational health. I'm now starting to think they are going to question my ability to teach even though I have been doing it for three years with no issue. My colleagues have told me not to worry that the school are looking after me, but I just have this paranoia that I will lose my job.

    Any advice is welcomed.
    jomaimai likes this.
  2. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Have you been in touch with your keyworker/CMHT/CPN? If not you need to let them know that this has happened. Also, did the school know before this that you have BPD?

    The school is probably more concerned at the moment about the safety of the students and of yourself - BPD isn't widely understood anyway, and with aspects of s/h they will be more concerned.

    If they want you to see occy health then get them to work/liaise with the CMHT because what OT don't know about how your BPD affects you and how you manage it successfully, CMHT will be able to advise and put minds at rest.

    I'd made a clear distinction in your own mind about your MH issues and your unblemished work record so that if it is raised or questioned at all, you are able to point out that the one has not been affected by the other any more than someone with a limp! If the HT or HR start on that track, there may be disability discrimination issues to consider, but don't go down that path unless they do first.

    Good luck.
    vortex566 likes this.
  3. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I doubt that one incident of accidental over medication is sufficient for an employer to question your fitness to teach.

    I would think about contacting your regional union official to talk to about your concerns. You would not necessarily involve them with the school at this time, but it would be easier in the future if you need to do so.

    I understand that If you have a known disability that they can't discriminate against you. Other posters will know more than me about this and I'm sure will tell you more.

    They always want "Outstanding Teachers." Try and stay positive. They would be foolish not to be seen to support you at this time.

    Take care of yourself

    Best Wishes.
    vortex566 likes this.
  4. vortex566

    vortex566 New commenter

    Thanks for the feedback.

    School have known about my BPD since I was diagnosed seven months ago. It was the first thing I did when I found out. I have a very good relationship with the HT and she has always been very supportive with everything to do with me. My CMHT knew on Tuesday and they are aware of the situation. I'm signed off with depression which is annoying because I don't have depression. I have been told that by a consultant. My NUT rep in school is very good and she is also a good friend and she has told me not to worry and that the school are doing it to support me. I am a bit of workaholic and school know I would come back when maybe I'm not ready yet.
  5. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    With all you've said I'd not worry. Take the time off to regroup and when you go back engage with everything with confidence. If it was a one-off and accidental then it just means you'll be more careful in future. It does sound as though you have a supportive team around you, which is lovely to know.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Some excellent comments above, @vortex566 , and people here are very sympathetic with your situation, as is your school I don't doubt.

    Quite right too! They want to be sure that being at work is not going to be harmful to your health.

    Not only daft, may even be illegal as unless you are officially declared fir to be back at work, you may be uninsured to be on the premises and in charge of pupils.

    I have sent people back home for doing this - not so much because i was worried about the legality of it, but using the legality as an excuse I was able to deal with my worries about their health.

    You must ensure that you follow all medical advice to look after yourself.

    Best wishes

    monicabilongame likes this.
  7. vortex566

    vortex566 New commenter

    Thank you all very much. You have helped put my mind at ease. I think it was just the whole shock of having to see occupational health. I can understand it completely on the safeguarding point of view, but I always just think the worse and that I will be sacked because I'm mental (which I know I'm not).

    I have one more question:
    My school have not given to me in writing why I'm going to see occupational health. I was only told by the DH that it was to get advice and support me in the best way possible. Should I trust them or should I ask for it in writing before my appointment?
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Just ask them for a copy of what they are sending to OH, for your records.

    Good luck!

  9. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    My dear vortex, of course you're mental - we all are - for wanting to teach in the first place. Strewth, if they were to sack everyone who was a bit 'mental', there'd be no teachers left (and that includes all those HTs with sociopathic or narcissistic tendencies!).

    Everyone has mental health - sometimes it's good and sometimes it isn't. That's normal. Some of us are prone to reactive depression. Some of us are too empathic for our own good. Some of us are scared of spiders or flying. Some of us get agoraphobic or claustrophobic. Some of us get panic attacks. Some of us are on the autistic spectrum. Some of us have OCD. Some of us have very low self-esteem. We all manage in our own way and sometimes we need help. You're normal, as far as there is such a thing. Just that your 'stuff' is different to some other people's 'stuff'.

    You're doing great. Trust yourself and carry on doing great.
    Lara mfl 05, marlin and vortex566 like this.
  10. vortex566

    vortex566 New commenter

    Why have I not been on this thread before?

    You have all been amazing and have really helped to clam me down.
  11. awg

    awg New commenter

    Hi, I am almost in a similar situation in that I have just been diagnosed with BPD, also an outstanding teacher. I'm a bit scared of telling my HT, who has been supportive with my MH situation, I am still under a CMHT and psychiatrist. Battling with MH for nearly 2 years, initially took time off, now back at work and no sick leave to be concerned about. This final diagnosis though has shattered me, I hope you don't mind and I know it was 2 years ago, can I ask what was the outcome? Thanks
  12. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    To @awg - if you have an official diagnosis, you do need to tell your HT. In the same way you would tell your HT if you had a bad back or neck injury, so they can make adjustments for you if need be.

    Your HT needs to know so strategies can be put in place to help you. This may mean a referral to Occupational Health, but you need to speak to them.

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