Supporting Neurodiversity in the workplace

June 8, 2021 - Defence Stories

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The value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is at the forefront of many organizations’ core values and is also a priority in the public service. Diversity can come in many forms in the workplace, through ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation and neurodiversity, amongst others.

Neurodiversity recognizes the many individuals with neurological conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia.

Mental disorders such as ADHD and bipolar disorder have been associated with creativity, yet many individuals face adversity and stigma in the conventional workplace. It is important to understand the value of including neurodiversity and those who are neurodiverse in the workplace and a growing number of organizations are beginning to do so. For instance, the Government of Canada, have given numerous grants, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), to study best practices when it comes to neurodiversity employment.

Here are some ways to support neurodiversity in the workplace

Learn about accommodation in the workplace. As managers, why not take part in a presentation series on Workplace Accommodation Consultation offered by the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS). Employees can learn more about Workplace Accommodation for Federal Public Service Employees in the course offered by the CSPS.

Knowledge is empowerment. We can normalize the conversation around neurodiversity in the workplace by learning about diversity and inclusion; understanding these not only lessens the stigma in the workplace but also promotes psychological well-being at work. Learn about the CSPS’s courses on Respectful and Inclusive Workplace (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website) and resources available to all public service employees.

Seek help. Your mental health matters. If you’re having difficulties at work, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend/colleague, an EAP Peer Advisor, or to Health Canada – Employee Assistance Services.

Total Health Webinar: The Impacts of ADHD on Both Work and Play

You may know of a colleague, or someone in the workplace parenting a child who is neurodiverse. According to the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website), ADHD is “a medical neurobiological disorder. It is an illness or deficit of the nervous system, most often occurring due to genetic or biological factors”. Symptoms may include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Parenting a child (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website) with ADHD during a pandemic requires more attention as virtual learning may not be the ideal platform for children with ADHD.

To further explore this topic, join us for a virtual webinar titled The Impacts of ADHD on Both Work and Play (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website). This webinar will demystify the myths of ADHD and look at how ADHD impacts a child and adult’s functioning in the home, school and work environment, touching on parenting, relationships, school and workplace accommodations.

Programs available for Defence Team Members

The Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (CFMAP) and The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are here to help public service employees and CAF personnel, families and veterans cope with professional or personal challenges that may be impacting their health and well-being. If you find yourself needing a helping hand or simply wanting to talk to someone, the CAF/DND have resources available to help.

Get in touch with us for Support Resources

Reach out to the EAP Corporate Office, the Mental Health and Well-Being Corporate Office, or the Office of Disability Management.

Subscribe to the EAP distribution list to stay informed on mental health and wellness topics that matter to you, upcoming webinars, and much more.

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