Research reveals mental health stigma in the workplace

Millions of British workers would shy away from discussing mental health issues with colleagues amid a fear they could jeopardise their career, it has emerged.

Researchers uncovered the worrying statistic following a study carried out among 2,000 employees which showed 38 per cent wouldn’t feel safe being open about their mental health at work.

The study revealed around one in five have witnessed phrases linked to mental health being used in a derogatory way at work.

It also emerged nearly half of those who took part would make up a physical health excuse if they were off for a mental health reason, rather than discussing the problem with colleagues or managers.

Furthermore the survey, by the Mental Health Foundation for World Mental Health Day, found 11 per cent have been victims of abuse at work as a direct result of a mental health issue.

Overall one in three workers said they wouldn’t dare bring the subject up with senior staff for fear of being marginalised or losing their job.

Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive at the charity said: “Despite growing awareness, there are sadly still too many people who don’t feel safe talking about their mental health at work.

“We are asking people to talk about mental health, but this must be matched with an ability to listen compassionately and act appropriately.

“We still hear examples of mental ill-health being used as a form of casual insult. This creates a culture where people don’t feel able to talk about their mental health at work or reach out for support when they need it.”

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