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What Accommodations Can I Provide To A Professional In Recovery?

What Type of Workplace Accommodations Should Be Made for Those with Mental Illness?

Industries have different systems, boards, rules, and requirements to put into place when a professional in the field needs to seek treatment. Professionals commonly seek treatment for substance use disorders, which are frequently co-occurring with other mental health disorders. Accommodations, time, plans, certifications, and processes are often predetermined depending on a professional’s field and position. The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that professionals of all kinds are able to request accommodations which makes balancing their mental health and their work life in a way that is productive, safe, and healthy.

Ask Your HR Department

Depending on your industry standards or company policies, your HR department might have specific suggestions and/or rules about providing accommodations. Make sure you are in understanding with federal and state laws, as well as the policies of your industry or company.

Offer Suggestions For A Smooth Transition

After treatment, some professionals are ready to return to work full force. Renewed with a sense of purpose and passion, they are ready to take on all the responsibilities of their career again. Others, however, may need time to ease back into their profession and the responsibilities of their life. Wherever possible, make suggestions for a smooth transition.


  • More hours at home: A reduction in hours can give a professional in recovery the extra self-care time and personal structure they need outside of the office. Exercise, home cooked meals, recovery support meetings, and other parts of their recovery plan are important for maintaining balance.
  • Flexible hours: Doctors’ appointments, therapy appointments, psychiatry appointments, and other appointments may become part of a regular health routine for a professional. Flexible work hours encourages them to continue doing the necessary things which keep them healthy.


Reduce Responsibility, Temporarily

Set up a meeting and ask the individual what it is they need and what they are comfortable with. Due to the shame and stigma associated with mental illness, addiction, and going to treatment, they may be hesitant to ask for reduced responsibility or workload upon returning to work. Assure them of your support, encouragement, and enthusiasm for the life-saving decision they have made by going to treatment and choosing a lifestyle of recovery. Remind them that temporarily reducing their workload and/or responsibility is not a sign of failure or weakness, but an incredibly smart decision for sustaining their recovery. Together, you can make a plan by setting timely goals for moving up in responsibility, hours, and other components of their job.

Our Professionals Treatment Program was designed by professionals for professionals using the best practices proven to change lives. Call the Center For Professional Recovery today: 855-422-4129

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