The SMH columnist behind an article titled ‘Mental illness: who’s faking it?‘ that was widely shat upon last week has apologised, saying it was “poorly written” and “insensitive”.
In the piece, ‘people-management’ thinker James Adonis argued that workplaces were rife with employees faking mental illness for sympathy / a lighter workload / to avoid reprimands, and gave advice to managers on how to deal with it.
“If you’re keen to avoid malingered psychopathology in your workplace,” he writes, “there’s one solution that appears to have been tested frequently with great effect: issue a warning to those you suspect are faking it.”
Unsurprisingly, he copped an absolute bollocking on social media.
Ah yes, Fairfax’s traffic must’ve been down this week. Better give the mentals a kick. https://t.co/hEWM9M4itb?
— Sophie Benjamin (@sophbenj) January 22, 2016
This included a post from Anna Spargo-Ryan, a writer with a mental illness who published photos of herself three days apart to demonstrate how mental illness sure as hell doesn’t always ‘look’ the same. (At the time of writing, it’s been shared almost 1000 times.)
In fairness to Adonis, he seems to have taken backlash on the chin, acknowledging that his article missed the mark by mile (and then some). The following apology now appears at the top of the article:
“Since publishing this article, an enormous amount of feedback on social media has made me realise it was poorly written and insensitive. This has been unfair on those with a mental illness and their loved ones. This was never my intention. My intention was to achieve the opposite. At this I clearly failed. I’m genuinely sorry.”
He’s also been trying (unsuccessfully) to have the post taken down:
@Lyndsay_Kirkham I’ve been trying to get the article removed or to have an apology added. I’m deeply sorry. This has been a big lesson.
— James Adonis (@jamesadonis) January 25, 2016