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Mental health prejudice still rife in workplaces, says report

Prejudice against workers with mental health conditions is widespread among UK organisations, according to a report from Bupa.

All but three of 50 business leaders interviewed (94 per cent) acknowledged there was bias against those with mental health issues in their organisation.


Open culture

This is despite three-quarters of them recognising the strong business case for mental wellbeing in the workplace, and nine out of ten saying that they were trying to encourage an open culture in which to talk about mental health.

Some 70 per cent of the 500 employees queried in the survey said they were not able to talk about their mental health concerns openly at work.

Worse still, between a fifth and a quarter of senior executives said they 'labelled' members of staff who had mental health issues as 'unpredictable', 'weak' or 'erratic'.



Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said, 'This research from Bupa echoes our own findings - that mental health is still a taboo in the workplace.

'It's good that organisations are increasingly acknowledging the importance of prioritising the well-being of their staff... But clearly senior business leaders still hold some outdated and damaging views about the impact a mental health problem can have on somebody's ability to carry out their role.

'We all have mental health and people with mental health problems can perform to a high standard and make a valuable contribution to the business.'


Acas publications and services

Acas has published the pdf icon Promoting positive mental health in the workplace [386kb], which aims to help employers tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. It also sets out practical measures to improve wellbeing, and to build supportive working environments.

Acas can help you review your health and wellbeing arrangements and find ways to reduce organisational stress. See Stress: how Acas can help for more details.

Practical Acas training is also available on Mental Health Awareness for Employers, Stress, Managing absence and essential Skills for supervisors

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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