Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
Work and mental health

Planning and preparing to return to work

Reasonable adjustment and talking to colleagues.

Think about some of the things that made you unwell and unable to work. Where any of these connected with your work? If so, you can suggest some ‘reasonable adjustments’ to change the way that you work.


Your employer can help you get back to work by telling you any any developments or changes that have happened while you were away. You need to think about what you want to tell your colleagues and clients about your absence and any changes to your work. 


Links to resources:


The ‘Line managers’ resource’ is a practical guide to managing and supporting people with mental health problems in the workplace.  Although this guide is aimed at line managers, it includes useful information for employees too.  There is a section on ‘Keeping in touch during sickness absence’ with tips on how best to maintain contact. There is also a section with guidance on preparing to return to work.


Health and Safety Executive

Although these pages are aimed at employers, they contain useful information on good practice and the link to the ‘Return to work questionnaire’ which could help you to identify the demands which may have exacerbated your illness, the support and changes you would like to see as part of your return to work. There are also links to sources of advice and help when returning to work


Fit for Work Services

Fit for Work Services help people to stay in or return to work more quickly after illness or when they develop a health condition or impairment.  There are a number of schemes around the UK run by case managers who work to ensure that clients receive appropriate support on time.  The scheme is guaranteed to run until March 2013. 


Health Work Wellbeing

Health, Work and Well-being is a cross-Government initiative to protect and improve the health and well-being of working age people. It includes case studies, links and resources.  The case studies are particularly useful in providing ideas on working with your employer to improve health and wellbeing in the workplace.  


Employers’ Forum on Disability

‘Non-visible disabilities line manager guide’ includes a return to work checklist, a keeping in touch during sick leave agreement and extensive examples of ‘reasonable adjustments’.


A Return to Work

This website has articles on topics including ‘returning to work after illness’.

Surviving and thriving at work
  is a suite of toolkits, training, and advice from Radar (Royal Association of Disability Rights) which offer an easy frame work for surviving and thriving at work.

Jobcentre Plus

Access to Work is a valuable Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) scheme designed to financially assist employers with costs beyond that of reasonable adjustments, helping to produce a more efficient support system in the workplace.


 <<< Back

<<< Return to Intro


Page updated October '11