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Anti depressents


sharonash
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A staff member has asked to speak to me this morning, she advises she is on anti depressants and in the past has self harmed.

 

Does anyone have a staff medication form they could share? (as I adapted the childrens one and not sure now Im having to complete it is suitable)

 

Also I presume I should complete a risk assessment- again anyone help with this?

 

has anyone come across this in the past that could help or advise me? Is there anything else I should do?

 

Oh don't we just love Monday mornings-

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Sharon - I wondered if you could 'adapt' this..........not my work originally - can't remember but probably downloaded from this forum :1b

 

staff_reg_form.doc

 

Wonder why she has chosen now to tell you about her 'self-harming' - poor love and poor you.......

 

Hope you manage to get things sorted out :1b

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In terms of completing a medicine form and carrying out a risk assessment, I guess the questions you need to ask yourself are:-

  • What threat to the setting is there from a practitioner who is receiving medical support for depression?
  • Are there aspects of her job that her depression and use of anti-depressant medication will adversely affect?
  • What concerns do I have around the disclosure of past episodes of self-harm?
  • What are my responsibilities as her employer to support her improving mental health?
  • Are there implications for the staff team as the practitioner embarks on her journey back to health?
  • What is the purpose of the medicine form? How will completing one protect her or the setting, or enable the practitioner to be effectively supported?

She has clearly chosen to confide in you for a reason, but without knowing why she did this it is difficult to know what to suggest. Sometimes people make this kind of disclosure because they recognise that their work is being affected, and sometimes it is a cry for help. If she is on medication then she has sought support, but is she engaging with therapeutic talking therapies or is she relying on a short-term chemical solution? If she is having counselling, will the sessions happen during working hours?

 

I'll bet there are many of us reading your post who have taken anti-depressants but who never chose to share this information with our employers. For some, mental health issues cannot help but be brought into the setting, and really impact on the ability of practitioners to care for and promote children's emotional and physical development but for others, the setting is a kind of refuge from all of that pain and can literally be a life saver at a desperate time in their lives.

 

Maybe she just wants you to know so that you can understand the kind of pressures she's under at the moment, or maybe she just wants you to know so that you can keep a weather eye on her. Perhaps you need to have another conversation with her to gently ask her what sort of support she would like?

 

Good luck with sorting it all out, and I hope your member of staff is soon on the road to wellness.

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The issue you have to ask yourself is 'does this or is she having a direct impact on the children, are they compromised in any way, can she still do her job?

If the answer is yes she can do her job and the children are ok then fine.

If your worried about absence then that would be covered under your policies

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Guest Spiral

Hi there Sharonash,

 

It's a difficult thing to get one's head around the wealth of depression types and states. Depression is linked in with many other mental health concerns - self harming, paranoia or simply feeling unable to wash your clothes and get out of bed.

 

As an employer there are two responsibilities - one to the children and one to support your staff within the workplace.

 

I did try my best with a member of staff years ago who was diagnosed with depression following the loss of a close relative. It was quite difficult and ended up with my losing financially and employing an extra member of staff to cover the roles that the depressed staff member should have been doing....I just did not have the heart to ask her to stay at home....what happened next is a long story and it involved a range of difficult circumstances for me (much more than for the staff member).

 

The law is there to support you and I would certainly suggest logging everything down confidentially and ensuring that if you do have concerns you involve your managers/committee etc if poss...just be cautious to protect yourself.

 

As for medication, you do need to know if a member of staff is taking medication, especially as there may be quite severe side effects with medication for depression. You could seek advice from ACAS too.

 

Best of luck, it is a difficult situation and I really hope it resolves soon. Spiral x

Edited by Spiral
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I have a staff declaration form that they must complete when they start and then an annual suitability form -I'll pm them across for you later.

 

Good Luck - I've staff in the past with issues like this and it can be a headache, just make sure you cover yourself with everything

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