Workers concerned of repercussions if they reveal mental health issues

Most people have suffered work-related mental health issues but often risk "serious repercussions" if they raise the problem

Most people have suffered work-related mental health issues but often risk "serious repercussions" such as demotion or even dismissal if they raise the problem, a study reveals.

A survey of 3,000 workers for the charity Business in the Community found that three out of five have experiencedmental ill health - but 15% said they faced dismissal, disciplinary action or demotion if they talked about it, an increase of 6% on similar research a year ago.

Half of line managers would welcome training on mentalhealth conditions, while a third have no workplace facilities or services to support the mental health wellbeing of employees, said the report.

Louise Aston, of Business in the Community, said: "Despite the increased prominence ofmental health as a workplace issue, it remains the elephant in the room that over a million people face serious repercussions for disclosing mental health issues to their employers.

"This report is an urgent call to action for collective leadership from employers to end this injustice and provide better support. It is time to challenge the myth that having amental health issues equates to poor performance.

"We must equip managers with the knowledge and training to make the reasonable workplace adjustments that enable people to stay in work and thrive."

Women are more likely to report mental health issues relating to work.

A government spokesman said: "We are determined to ensure people with mentalhealth conditions are not held back in the workplace.

"We are giving employers the tools they need to recruit, retain and support people withmental health issues through our Disability Confident scheme, and any employees can get additional advice and support through our dedicated Mental Health Support Service.

"But we are committed to go even further, which is why we consulted on these issues through our Work, Health and Disability Green Paper and we've commissioned an independent review into mental health and employment."

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