Why staff keep quiet about mental health issues

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Nearly half of all employees are reluctant to disclose a mental health issue to their employer for fear it will damage their career prospects.

This was the finding of a recent poll which canvassed the views of that 2,000 professionals in full time roles. It was commissioned by Vita Health Group, a leading UK provider of mental health solutions and will raise fresh fears about the stigma many attach to mental health issues in the workforce.

In total, 42 per cent said they thought that revealing a mental health issue would “destroy” their career or, at least, stop them from receiving a pay rise.

Many expressed deep concern around their employer’s lack of mental health expertise and experience. Four in ten employees said they their HR team ‘”lacks the skills and training to properly support my mental health issues”.

Breaking down the data, young professionals aged 24-34 were most concerned, and when asked to rank the support measures an employer could put in place, over half city a “monthly one-to-one time to chat about my issues”.

The next most popular choice was providing more mental health advice in company meetings, followed by online support services for staff.

Mental health is a hidden issue
Mental health is a hidden issue

 “It’s shocking but not completely surprising,” said Vita Health Group CEO Derrick Farrell. “Nobody – whatever their age or level of seniority – should ever have to live in fear of bosses knowing these vital details, leaving them without the support they need.

“It’s critical that employers do more to ensure the stigma associated with mental health issues are significantly reduced.

“This means addressing these needs from the leadership down, ensuring managers have mandatory mental health training and recognise the warning signs of vulnerable employees and have clear pathways of support for those who need it.”