Many people are taking time off work due to their mental health but blaming it on other problems, such as physical conditions.
Sadly, this is because of the stigma often associated with admitting to having mental health issues.
Statistics show that 21.9 million working days were lost in 2017 because of poor mental health.
This accounted for 8% of all days lost, with the number likely to be higher due to employees’ fear of repercussions. These can include being judged by co-workers, or seen as a liability by bosses.
This shouldn’t be the case – it wouldn’t be fair to overlook someone for promotion because of a broken arm, so it shouldn’t be fair to do so because of stress caused from burnout.
People cannot take an infinite amount of pressure, and shouldn’t be expected to.
In order to challenge this stigma, employers should build trust within their organisation to allow employees to disclose this information. This is vital for both measuring and managing mental health effectively.
Managers should be trained in how to spot the signs of someone experiencing mental health issues.
They should also know how to guide someone towards getting the help they need. This involves treating the issue sensitively, and knowing how to initially broach the topic.
Mental Health First Aid training teaches how to do this. The two-day course stops mental health being ‘taboo’ and off limits at work, and is available for both managers and employees.
BounceBack are currently hosting several MHFA courses across the country with a limited number of places for each session.
If you feel removing the stigma of mental health would help your workplace, visit our MHFA page to see which dates suit you.