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Mental health in the workplace (shush, don’t tell anyone!)

8 October 2020

In many places there is still the feeling that mental health is a taboo subject. This extends to the workplace where many employees are still afraid to talk to their employers about their mental health challenges; believing that it could affect their reputation and career (as highlighted by research from Helix Resilience).

Three in ten employees in the UK admitted to concealing a mental health condition from their employer, claiming that they were physically ill instead.

The survey was conducted on 2,000 ‘white collar’ workers based in the city of London. Let’s have a look at some of the highlights from the study:

Age range

Percentage that would conceal a mental health issue

18-24 – 37%

33-44 – 26%

55+ – 13%

The study suggests that there is a concerning correlation between age and being open to discussing mental health challenges.

The research also highlights the effect that lockdown has had on people’s mental health, with 83% noting a decline on their mental health during this period.

The CEO of Helix Resilience, Dr Stephen Pereira, suggested that there is a still an underlying stigma attached to mental health conditions, leading people to conceal their mental health conditions.

The questions you need to ask are:

–       Does this affect my workplace?

–       What could I do to improve this?

There are a several ways to make these changes in your workplace, such as implementing a mental health wellbeing strategy, an employee assistance programme, or even mental health first aid training.

If you feel that this is something you would like help with, please contact me and we can discuss how to remove the stigma of mental health in your workplace.