The stigma and misconceptions about mental ill-health mean that
employees find talking about their mental health difficult to the
point that many will avoid raising the issue with their employer
for fear of losing their job. Sadly this isn’t a
misconception on the part of people with experience of mental
Some people report immediate loss of interest when they tell a
prospective employer about their mental health history. That is why
putting the right health and well-being policies into practice
during the recruitment process and afterwards is so important and
valuable. Ideally you want to build an ethos and culture in
your organisation where everyone is treated with respect and where
honest communication is encouraged.
Scores of British adults avoid talking to their boss about mental
health problems out of fear of losing their job or being considered
“mad”, new findings suggest.
Rethink is a mental
health membership charity which works to help everyone affected by
severe mental illness to recover a better quality of life. It
carried out a survey which found that almost 60% of British workers
said they would feel uncomfortable talking to their line manager if
they had a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety or
Mental health and
Roy Sainsbury, Annie Irvine, Jane Aston, Sally Wilson,
Ceri Williams and Alice Sinclair, 2008
Department for Work and Pensions, Research Report No.
This report summarises research carried out by the Social Policy
Research Unit and Institute for Employment Studies University of
York on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. It
found that there was a perception among employees that employers
viewed people with mental health conditions as a ‘risk’ or as
unreliable or incapable of coping in their job, and this was a
factor in some people’s reluctance to mention a mental health
condition to their current, or a potential future, employer.