There’s still a lot of stigma around mental health – and that’s leaving many people struggling in silence.
It feels incredibly difficult to bring up mental health issues with loved ones and medical professionals (but so worth it, promise), thanks to fear of judgement, but when it comes to the workplace, a whole new set of issues comes up.
There’s the fear that your bosses will see you as less capable. The concern that your struggles won’t be seen as legitimate. Worries about getting time off work.
When you’re trying to present yourself at your absolute best, it’s no wonder that it’s a struggle to bring up mental health issues.
You’re not alone in finding it tough.
A new survey conducted by Comres for BBC Radio 5 found that half (49%) of British adults in full-time work say they’d be unlikely to talk to their boss about problems such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.
Only 35% said they’d be happy to tell their colleagues if they were struggling.
That’s concerning when you consider that one in four of us will experience mental health issues this year – and having a supportive work environment, where you’re able to take time off if you need and actions are taken to reduce stress, is incredibly important.
Previous research from Mind has found that more than one in five workers have called in sick to avoid workplace stress, while 42% have considered resigning because of overwhelming mental health issues.
Failing to help workers with mental health costs companies, making them lose valuable workers and miss out on high quality work because people feel too stressed or unwell to get things done to their best ability.
Solving this isn’t as simple as telling mentally ill people to open up and talk about mental health at work. There’s the very real concern that bosses may treat workers differently after they disclose issues, not offering promotions because they feel they won’t be able to handle it.
Instead, bosses need to make an effort to ensure their companies are genuine safe spaces for workers to discuss and get help with mental health issues.