9 out of 10 workers with mental health issues suffer discrimination
There is still a clear stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace, findings show.
Some nine out of ten employees with mental health issues face discrimination in the workplace, according to a new study.
The Mental Health Foundation study, reported by ITV News, highlighted that 56 per cent of adults in the UK will not employ someone with depression, even if they were believed to be the best option for the role.
Denise Martin, a sufferer of bipolar disorder, told the news provider that the issue is so severe that many employees are hiding their illness in fear that they may lose their job.
In a video interview with ITV, Ms Martin explained: “I still think, mention bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosis - any of the severe mental illnesses - people are just frightened. I want a job, I'm able to do a job but I guess people are ignorant.”
She added that more needs to be done in order to allow those with mental health issues to speak up and be open to employers.
"It needs to change. People need to talk. The more people that talk, the more people that have awareness, it's going to reduce the stigma and make it easier for people to say 'actually I've got bipolar but I'm all right, I'm doing the best I can, give me a chance,” Ms Martin explained to the news provider.
What can be done to help employees?
There are many ways that employers can help their workers feel more comfortable in the office and reduce anxiety over how they will be treated.
One of the biggest campaigns is Time To Change. Organised by the government, this movement aims to change how people think about mental health and has earned around £30 million in funding.
More than 800 schools and 400 businesses have taken part in the scheme so far. The number of people reporting discrimination as a result of mental health issues has also fallen from 42 per cent to 28 per cent.
However, the campaign admits that more work needs to be done in order to reduce this figure further.
Jo Loughran, interim director of Time To Change, said: "Since Time To Change began, we've made real progress in transforming public attitudes and empowering thousands of people to tackle discrimination, but we've always said that this is the work of a generation and there's still more work to be done."
Despite the hard work of the campaign, it is clear that issues remain with mental health discrimination and more needs to be done to make sure that workers feel comfortable speaking about their problems.