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Mental health...Cards? Flowers?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Lucilla90, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    If someone goes off work with physical illness, cards follow, maybe the pupils make a card for the member of staff. Flowers are often sent.

    However, with mental or emotional health issues in many places I’ve worked, I notice no such things. Recent personal experience tells me, this makes it feel like the illness is not believed, or is not really seen as an illness.

    What experiences do others have of this response ( or lack of)?
  2. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    Assume primary, as never seen this in 20 years of secondary. Schools have got to be oh so careful about contacting staff when they are off sick, if someone is having 'mental or emotional health issues' then any kind of contact might be thought of as negative...even done with the best intentions.
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    How can a Get Well card be thought of as negative, particularly if it comes from the pupils?
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    A card (or present) sent by colleagues (or pupils) with not message other than good wishes...Pretty certain most people would welcome that (whereas no contact might well seem threatening...)
  5. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    Very easily if the pupils are the cause of the 'mental or emotional health issues' :(
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Gracious. I'd be horrified if flowers were sent. Poor kids. Having been guilted (or more likely their poor parents) into making a contribution. Or the teachers pretending the flowers are from the kids and making the kids sign a card.

    Jeepers. You go off sick. It's a job. Leave me alone!
    tall tales likes this.
  7. erp77

    erp77 New commenter

  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    • Nobody has the time.
    • There are so many people off for one reason or another that you'd get no work done.
    • Fewer people get to the staff room to get the ball rolling
    • Nothing to do (IMHO) with the severity/nature of any condition from which you may be suffering. No reflection on your condition, your popularity. Just doesn't happen as much.
    • Lots of people are strapped for cash and nobody wants to go round and force them to put their hand in their pocket.
    • I never carry cash.
    needabreak likes this.
  9. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    If I had received flowers when I was signed off I would probably have thrown up. I wanted to be left alone and to put as much distance between me and work as possible. Having to look at flowers from the place that made me ill would have been too much for me!
  10. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    The irony of a 'get well' gesture is that work are not supposed to contact you when sick?!

    A generic 'Get Well Soon' would be best?
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I worked in schools where the staff association/committee collected money from all staff at the start of the year, and automatically sent a card (present in longer term cases) to staff absent for more than a certain time (usually a week). Staff could sign the card if they wished.

    Seemed to work OK...
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  12. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I always thought this sort of thing was standard.
  13. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Most guidance, such as HSE and ACAS, recommends regular contact with absent staff. Of course, care needs to be taken not to exacerbate WRS issues. Interesting, the range of views about this. Thanks for the replies.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I'd say it depends on the individual and their department. If someone has been open about stress-related sickness then a quick line from your workmates doesn't hurt. It certainly doesn't hurt if a friend drops round to check up on you.

    But anything formal doesn't so much say 'we miss you and wish you were back here with us, but in your own good time' as 'hurry up and get well because you have marking to do.'
  15. thecagedbird

    thecagedbird New commenter

    I think people are embarrassed/ worried about saying the wrong thing.

    I work in a close department. We always sent a card, present etc. for people off sick for 'medical' reasons. E.g the teacher who broke her leg and the teacher who needed lots of tests after fainting at work.

    When I had a missed miscarriage and needed an operation (with two weeks signed off work) no-one contacted me at all. When I returned to work no-one mentioned it. It was a big taboo. I believe people didn't know what to say to me as they knew my pregnancy was desperately wanted. I would have been more comfortable talking about it though.
  16. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I was a head of year and a member of my team went off with mental health problems. We had had a professional disagreement the day before she went off sick and I felt I might have been the straw that broke the camels back. Despite the fact the colleague was someone I considered a personal friend I didn't feel I could contact her for fear of making her worse. (Looking back, and having spoken to the team member about it now we no longer work together and she is better, I actually had nothing to do with her going off sick - and thinking I did is probably a reflection of my own fragile mental health at the time).
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I knew it, you are indeed the Queen! *There was I thinking she was your other half and all... ;)

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