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Mental health and the workplace

Over 50 per cent of adults in the UK said they would not hire someone with depression, even if they were the best candidate for the job.

Our worplace is often a miniature version of our society. While our society is making great progress in the awareness of mental health in our everyday lives there is still more we can do in raising that awareness. We are becoming more aware of the stigma associated with having mental health problems. That’s a great thing. There is still something akin to stigma though, in that people still make too many wrong assumptions about people with mental health problems in the workplace.

Too often people assume – and assume wrongly – that someone with a mental health problem is not able to perform their duties. Some go as far as assume that if someone has mental health problems they are not able to cope at work at all. That alarming statistic that more than half of the people surveyed said they would not hire someone with depression testifies to that.

With Mental Health Week taking place next month, it is a great time to spread the word that mental health problems are not sign of weakness. The everyday stresses and pressures of the workplace often make us more determined to succeed in our work and our businesses. Employees and employers alike face stress and physical and mental exertion everyday. That can be a situation where they risk developing mental health problems such as depression, ‘burnout’ and other conditions.

So the awareness of mental health in the workplace is an important issue. Looking after yourself and answering that others in the workplace have the opportunity to look after their mental is a step towards prevention of mental health problems.

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