Mental Health and Professionalism

Mental Health and Professionalism: An Interview

When I’m at work, I want to be perceived in a certain way. I want to be confident, competent, likable, and cooperative. Which is attainable most of the time, but there are times when I don’t feel like I can keep it together. Many people feel this way in high-stress situations. People depend on you to learn quickly perform well under all types of circumstances. But sometimes those circumstances are not the ideal environment for those struggling with their mental health.

For the past two weeks, I have shared stories, experiences, and thoughts from our peers about how mental health effects their careers, families, school work, etc. Last week’s interview was on Mental Health and Spirituality with Jessica. If you would like to participate and share your own stories, please feel free to shoot me an email at I think it’s incredibly important that we take the time to really listen and learn from others about these vulnerable topics. It’s the only way to change the current narrative.

I am so excited to introduce Hayley this week! Hayley is my best friend from back home in Illinois. We met when I was in junior high school and for years she’s been my “brain” and my “filter” in all kinds of situations. I love her and her husband to bits and can’t wait for you guys to hear more about this topic from her perspective. In addition to her educational and occupational background, Hayley is also a dog mom to Bandit, a plant lover (especially succulents), and a former band geek. She also has a blog that you can check out here.

Hayley, What is your educational and occupational background?

I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and am working on a Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology and Masters in Business Administration. Currently I am a recruitment coordinator for a large company in the Chicagoland area. Previously, I was a server/bartender at various restaurants in the Chicago area as well as my hometown.

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Mental Health and Professionalism


Have you ever thought about mental health and how it relates to professionalism?

Until now I had not. I know that with certain mental health issues it can be hard to hold down a job. Most of my knowledge is very basic and just talks about the symptoms and very basic information about those issues, not much on living with them or how it might affect one’s career.

Do you think adequate mental health awareness/training is given in the workplace?

I think that, in general, mental health is not something that is given enough awareness or training. Those of us who have a degree in psychology or who have friends/family who have mental health problems are definitely more aware of how those issues affect people. I don’t remember if we had any training on working with individuals who suffer from mental health issues, but if we did I don’t believe that it happens often enough. I think that if we were to have more training in the workplace about these sort of things, people would be less likely to use terms like anxiety, depression or schizophrenia so flippantly.

Do you think your educational background gives you a better understanding of mental health?

Yes, in some ways I believe it does. I took many classes during my undergraduate career that gave brief insights into many mental health issues. However, I will say that my knowledge is very basic as I chose to go into a different subfield of psychology and have not gone into deeper studies of those mental health issues.

Do you use the knowledge of mental health you have learned from classes, in the workplace?

Most of the time I am working with the same people every day and those who are not my coworkers I either speak with over the phone or via email. Also, many who have mental health issues do not disclose that they have one due to the stigma surrounding them. However, I would like to think that if needed I could use some of the knowledge from my classes in the workplace.


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