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BLOG: Neuro-Diversity and Mental Health

Michelle Church

Oct 2020

Michelle Church, Neuro-Diversity Champion at Career Legal sheds light on a difficult topic. Are organisations supporting and acknowledging those that are neuro-diverse or have mental health issues?

mental health and neuro-diversity

My name is Michelle Church I’m a legal recruiter with 20 years’ experience and am proud to have been appointed a Diversity and Inclusion Champion at Career Legal, I have a genuine passion for this subject. My particular interest is in Neurodiversity and Mental Health. This area is very close to my heart, as my eldest son was diagnosed with ASD, ADHD and severe anxiety in 2017.  I knew very little about these conditions at the time and I was completely unaware of how this could impact someone’s daily life. I started to think about how it must be for my son and other people with similar conditions and it made me realise that I had taken for granted how some things are easy for me and that’s not always easy for others.

So, do we really know how this may affect individuals with similar conditions within a recruitment process? I began asking the questions, how would my son cope in an interview situation, would firms make allowances for his needs? Would his lack of eye contact make him appear to be rude? Would he be allowed to take a break halfway through the interview if he became overwhelmed by processing a lot of questions? Would all organisation’s employ someone with these needs? So many questions and I’m still unsure about those answers.

Do we know the individuals we work with that may have additional needs? Do these individuals share this information with us, if not why do we think that is? Why is there still such stigma around additional needs and mental health conditions and what can we all do to change this?

Career Legal are keen to support both our clients and candidates in raising awareness around the challenges people may face within these areas and as a business we want to ensure we’re being as diverse and inclusive as we possibly can.

I genuinely feel that we’re all moving in the right direction where businesses are offering support to those that need it. With these initiatives we are becoming more diverse and inclusive and will continue to do so.