How to find and use mental health accommodations in the workplace

Vega Cloud
4 min readMay 9, 2024

Written by: Kyra Bliesner, Digital Marketing Specialist, Vega Cloud

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or licensed psychologist; this post aims to spread mental health awareness and resources.

Considering Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to remind yourself and others of the resources available for employees with mental health conditions.

My background

I have been diagnosed with ADHD and other mental health conditions. I have an ADA service dog who comes to work with me and helps me with tasks and structure. Over the last ten to fifteen years, I have had the opportunity to use various different mental health professionals. I've created a list of tools and strategies I use to adjust my workflow for my disabilities.

1. It’s important that you have a thorough understanding of your personal challenges so that you can approach them with the right mindset and resources.

The first and most important step in gathering resources is ensuring you are knowledgeable and have accepted your diagnosis or challenges. I recommend starting with your mental health team, this can include psychologists, psychiatrists, outpatient and in-patient resources, and primary care doctors. This is important later when I talk about “one-size” solutions.

2. Research federal and state laws.

For myself, I researched federal laws and Washington state laws. I did a lot of reading and research and first highlighted what I thought would be helpful for me. Then, I took all of it to my mental health team, and together, we decided what would be best for me and my disabilities.

For myself, “Flexible Workplace and Breaks” from the accommodations for employees with mental health issues by the U.S. Department of Labor was something my job already had in place and I utilized that with my service dog. I also use some of the recommended “modifications, equipment/technology, job duties, and management/supervision practices” suggested by the U.S. Department of Labor as reasonable accommodations.

3. Remember, not all accommodations are “one-size-fits-all” mental health diagnoses.

As an example, in “Accommodations for Employees with Mental Health Conditions” from the U.S. Department of Labor, “reductions or removal of distractions” may work for some but also may work against others who use the Body doubling technique (a popular ADHD coping skill) to get their work done. This is important when talking to your mental health team and your management at work.

We are all human and trying to navigate the world; knowing this, sometimes we don’t know if things will work for us until we try it. If an accommodation doesn’t work, it’s perfectly acceptable. It just means you need to re-evaluate with your mental health team and HR and try something new.

4. Work with your Leadership team

It’s important for both employees and managers to remember that kindness can make a significant difference. It can truly change how we interact with one another and have a positive impact on our work environment. Approaching a manager for accommodations can be intimidating, but it's important to remember that a supportive manager typically wants their team members to succeed. The right accommodations can sometimes be the difference between great work and delayed work.

As an example, at the beginning of my career, I struggled with setting boundaries to avoid burnout. I worked with HR and my manager to limit the priority labels on my workload. I also worked with my mental health team to be more honest about how much work I could handle while still being productive.

5. Advocate for yourself

Remember that people are not entitled to your mental health diagnoses (excluding those in leadership who help you get the accommodations you need, ex, managers, leadership, etc.). You do not have to disclose your mental health to other people you work with. Remember to advocate for yourself and not allow people to bully or harass you.

It's always okay to share only what you are comfortable with. If there is something you don't want to share, you can say, "I'm not comfortable sharing this at work.”

6. Remember that you’re not alone.

In life-threatening situations, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. If you are suicidal or in emotional distress, consider using the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Here is a guide on finding help for mental health:

Thank you for listening to my story. I hope you learned something new or gained a new perspective. Happy mental health awareness month!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or licensed psychologist. The purpose of this blog is to spread awareness and knowledge of resources.


U.S. Department of Labor

Accommodations for Employees with Mental Health Conditions

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights:

Enforcement Guidance on the ADA and Psychiatric Disabilities

Americans with disabilities act (ADA):

How to find help for mental health:

Washington State Resources:

Washington State Enterprise Reasonable Accommodations procedures:,and%20privileges%20of%20employment%20that

Law against discrimination (WLAD)

ADHD resources:

What is a “body double,” and why does it help:

My personal favorite ADHD resources:



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