Not everyone has the same holiday spirit. Depression may be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Another holiday season is upon us and, as you can see, I’m in a holiday mood. I enjoy the holidays with the festive music and lights. I take delight in trying to find just the right gift for the people I love. I use the word people loosely since I also buy gifts for the dog, Woodford, and the two cats, Max and Pete. I enjoy baking cookies and making other treats too.
Not everyone has the same holiday spirit however. People with depression often have a hard time this time of the year. Depression, as you all know, may be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Depression, like all other disabilities, affects individuals differently. People with severe depression may not be able to get out of bed or they may not be able to eat. Another person with depression may feel very alone and ostracized by the ones they love. If depression substantially limits a major life activity, the individual may need a reasonable accommodation to do his/her essential job duties.
Even if someone has not been diagnosed with depression, the holidays may be a hard time for an individual who has recently lost someone they loved. Or if this is the first holiday season when someone we love cannot be with us. We can all become sad and a bit overwhelmed with the holidays. Let’s pay attention to our employees and co-workers to make sure they are okay during the holidays.
And, this is the time of the year when many employees go to work when it is dark and work until after dark. If you live in a place like Louisville, we have many, many gray and gloomy days. Some employees don’t have access to sunshine during the day. I like the sun and the bright blue skies. I just feel better and happier on sunshiny days. Not seeing the sun for several days seems to zap my energy.
A friend of mine told me about a light bulb that is often prescribed for people with depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). He said the light bulb is expensive and many cannot afford it. In lieu of that bulb, he told me you can order a full-spectrum light bulb on Amazon or pick one up at a home improvement store. That bulb will be much cheaper and has the same benefits.
Perhaps if your workforce is in an environment like a factory without windows, adding some of the bulbs would help not only those with depression or SAD, but all employees. In my experience, reasonable accommodations that have been put into place for disabled employees are good for the entire workforce. And most reasonable accommodations are not expensive.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and look forward to being back on this blog with you next year. If you have any questions or training needs I can help you with, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at my cell number, (502) 553-7648.