Q: Workplace mental health issue
I have a question: I was working at a local small government entity as a director. The outgoing director and I formed a strong friendship that ended with a emotionally charged discussion between us before they left. In the course of this discussion, the person said, “I hope you don’t hang yourself,” twice. I have and had medically documented suicidal tendencies but no serious instances. This was in February 2021 and I’m still being negatively affected by these comments including needing counseling and medication changes. I also had four instances as my term as Director where I felt suicidal. I have spent about $1,000 out of pocket for counseling in this time. I ultimately left the position. This position I spent several years to have the education and experience to get so it was not easy to leave. I know this institution carries insurance on the Director themselves. Do I have any basis for a claim? I don’t know what this would fall under. Thank you.
A: At the time of the comment, you are both acting in your official capacity so Worker's Compensation would be your sole remedy. That said, Indiana's Worker's Compensation law does not recognize psychological injury so I honestly do not see any viable cause of action. I would urge you to seek additional opinions.
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