Survey Finds 70% of Workers Worried About Disclosing Their Mental Health Problem to Their Employer

Seventy percent of Irish workers fear that disclosure of a mental health issue will impact their work and cause them to be treated differently by their colleagues and managers, according to a new study.

Almost half of those polled in a survey by mental health group See Change said they believed disclosure of such an issue would lead them to be ignored for a promotion, and 37% said that ‘they feared they would be excluded from tasks and meetings.

Research found that workers’ fears of revealing mental illness were linked to mental health stigma, which See Change seeks to combat.

The study, conducted online with 650 people, found that a fifth of workers believed mental health-related stigma to be prevalent in their workplace, with 40 percent of respondents saying they had witnessed some form of mental health stigma. stigmatizing behavior in their workplace.

See Ambassador for Change Adrian Yeates said it boiled down to “a lack of knowledge or understanding of mental illness.”

“We fear what we don’t know and therefore avoid dealing with subjects that might be taboo or ‘too complicated’. Unfortunately, some workplace leaders still adhere to the myth that only ‘strong’ people succeed, so they dare not acknowledge any perceived weakness or vulnerability, ”he said.

Many employees said workplaces were visibly unable to cope with complex mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychosis.

The research revealed a lack of employee knowledge of workplace mental health legislation, with 60 percent of workers unaware that mental health is covered by legislation and the nine grounds of discrimination related to disability.

“While many organizations have made progress in ending the stigma associated with mental health, it is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done to alleviate the fear that having mental health issues is harming people’s lives. a person’s career, ”said Barbara Brennan, See Manager of Change Programs.

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