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Businesses ‘must act to tackle mental health stigma in the workplace’

October 1, 2015  /   No Comments

Nick Elvin

UK businesses must act now to transform current perceptions of employees with mental health issues to help tackle increasing numbers of those seeking treatment.

That’s the view of online counselling platform PlusGuidance, which says mental health stigma is a growing issue within the workplace. It cites new research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which suggests over two fifths of employers have seen an increase in the number of staff reporting mental health problems, while according to a YouGov survey, 40% of employees will experience anxiety about their work.

PlusGuidance also points to figures from the Time to Change campaign which show that half of employees who have disclosed a mental health condition said that they experienced discrimination in their employment as a result, with colleagues making snide remarks or excluding them.

PlusGuidance says there are a number of benefits for employers who actively promote mental health wellbeing throughout their workforce, including reduced employee stress and anxiety rates, increased productivity, decreased percentages of sick leave, and an overall boost in morale and working atmosphere.

Nathaniel Smithies, founder and CEO of PlusGuidance said: “One in four will experience some kind of mental health problem and more than two thirds of individuals with a mental condition say that stigma and the fear of discrimination has prevented them from doing things they want to do.

“Whilst everyone has their role to play in changing the perceptions of mental health, employers in particular possess a considerable amount of power, and have a real responsibility to make an impact. Businesses must implement modern measures if they are to transform the stigma of mental illness present in workplaces.”

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