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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Verity found that talking to her manager sooner meant she had access to support from occupational health or disability support services, which she needed later.

I think it's quite important to talk to your manger early on, as soon as you know that there's a problem. Because it's much easier to talk to somebody while the problem's small, than when it gets to a big stage. Hopefully you've already visited your GP, and then maybe have some plan of action. And managers always like it if you've come up with a plan, so that they can - they know what's happening. Obviously that's not always possible, because sometimes a watch and wait approach is applied, but I suppose that's a plan in itself. It is difficult to talk to managers, so if you can't do it face to face then write an email.

Remember that occupational health are there, and that you don't actually have to be referred by a manager. So if you think that there's something that's making it - at work that's making it worse, you could go and talk to occupational health and ask for their advice. I'm sure you could then later get a management referral if information needed to go back to the office. Obviously Caroline is staff disability advisor - I can't remember if that's her correct title. She's very helpful, and a good source of information about, about things. I think as we said earlier in the interview, mental health problems are much more common than people who are new to them necessarily realise. So I think people need to remember that they're not on their own, there are plenty of other people in the university are in a similar position.