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Most people still afraid to disclose a mental health problem to their employer


19/12/2011

By Marcus Leach

The issue of mental ill health is still being swept under the carpet in most workplaces, with just four in ten employees saying they would feel confident to disclose a mental health problem to their employer.

That’s according to the latest research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), published today (Monday) to coincide with the launch of a new guide to help more employers to manage and support mental health at work, which has been developed by CIPD and leading mental health charity Mind.

The survey of 2,000 people in employment in the UK reveals that despite more than a quarter (26%) of employees having experienced a mental health problem while in employment, too few employers are taking positive steps to manage this increasingly business critical issue. Just 25% of respondents say their organisation encourages staff to talk openly about mental health problems and only 37% say their employer supports employees with mental health problems well.

The guide, Managing and supporting mental health at work — disclosure tools for managers, will help employers ensure that how they manage people supports their mental wellbeing and resilience, and also encourage more employees to talk about any mental health issues they may be facing at an early stage.

“Managing mental health at work is central to good business performance," Ben Willmott, CIPD Head of Public Policy, commented.

"Stress is the number one cause of long-term sickness absence, but it is not just time lost to absence which impacts on the bottom line. Our survey highlights that the majority of people with poor mental health continue to attend work and report that it can impact on their ability to concentrate, make good decisions and provide effective customer service.

"It is estimated that this presenteeism costs UK businesses... continued on page two >

 

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