Although Australian workplace laws are tough, disability discrimination remains a very real problem. Workers with a disability face different forms of discrimination every day, and this can cause severe mental health problems.
Fortunately, though, there are a few things you can do if you feel like you’ve been a victim of disability discrimination. This stretches to include both physical and mental health issues.
In the rest of this article, we’ve explored the actions you should be taking to ensure you can maintain a good state of mind when facing disability discrimination. As always, remember to report illegal discrimination to the relevant authorities.
- Ensure You’re Receiving Appropriate Workplace Care
Under the relevant state and federal laws, you’re entitled to a certain level of care within the workplace. These include:
- Ensuring policies and/or procedures are in place that allow you to work effectively within your capabilities.
- Making changes to equipment or other physical parts of the workplace so you can do your job.
- Providing extra support and/or equipment that allows you to work with your disability.
In general, the most important thing is that your workplace and/or employer takes steps to reduce any disadvantages your condition causes.
- Learn to Identify and Report Discrimination
Unfortunately, disability discrimination isn’t always obvious. It’s therefore extremely important to ensure you’re able to identify different types of discrimination that could be harming you without you realising it. Some of these include:
- Direct discrimination, including in verbal and physical forms.
- Indirect discrimination, including where you’re disability puts you at a disadvantage compared to your co-workers.
- Victimisation, where you’re blamed for the consequences of your disability.
- Harassment due to your disability.
As you can imagine, these issues can have severe negative impacts on your mental health. It’s therefore extremely important to report any discrimination to the relevant people within your organisation.
- Speak to a Mental Health Professional
If you continue to suffer poor mental health as a result of some sort of disability discrimination, it’s crucial to ensure you seek help from a mental health professional. They will be able to help you:
- Work through your problems while maintaining a positive state of mind.
- Develop strategies for improving your long-term mental health.
- Advise you on the correct action to take if you feel you’re being discriminated against.
- Address existing mental illnesses to ensure they don’t worsen.
Mental health is no laughing matter. If your workplace is causing problems with anxiety, depression, or any other illnesses, be sure to seek the appropriate help.
Dealing with mental health issues and maintaining a strong frame of mind in the face of disability discrimination can seem impossible at times. Fortunately, though, there are plenty of strategies you can use to keep your mind in a positive place.
Remember, though, that you should never accept any form of discrimination as normal. If you continue to have problems after speaking with your superiors, consider speaking with a legal professional. Trust me, it’s worth it.