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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Although Verity may be open about her mental health condition, she is careful about what she tells staff and managers.

I've always been reasonably open about my mental health problems. Although having done fund-raising for eight years for the charity [Mind], I think I've become increasingly more open as a result of that. I think in an office environment though you've got to be a bit careful with how much you share with people, because there is obviously stigma associated with mental health, but to be honest people don't always want to hear all the ins and outs of everything. I would talk to my friends, my husband when I was poorly in August. Having been well for ten months, I was actually really embarrassed that I was poorly, and I couldn't - it was really difficult for me to even tell my very best friends . Yeah. That was not very easy.

I managed a team of six full time people, and about twenty part timers. So I'd let them know if I was going to medical appointments, and if they asked what it was about, I'd just say it was about my head. And they could draw their own conclusions from that [laughing]. But in general I wouldn't share too much information.

And even with line managers, I think there's a line in what you can actually say to people. You can't say to people "I don't want to put that meeting in my diary for next week because actually I don't think I might still be here then." You just can't say that, can you [laugh]. You have to put the meeting in your diary, and suck it up, and…

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