Poll Reveals Mental Health Concerns

28 April 2015, 05:00

Almost half of workers believe telling a manager about a mental health problem could lead to people losing their job, according to new research.

Some 48% of Scots quizzed said people would be unlikely to disclose any mental health issues over concerns for their job.

And 55% thought that being open about a mental illness could result in being passed over for promotion or moved to another post.

The figures emerged in a YouGov poll commissioned by See Me, Scotland's programme to end mental health discrimination.

Campaign bosses said there is still a stigma towards mental health in workplaces which stops people seeking help.

Further poll findings revealed just 22% of people think their colleagues have a good understanding of the importance of employee mental health.

However, 83% said they would want a better understanding if their colleague was experiencing mental health problems.

Judith Robertson, from See Me, said: "Stigma and discrimination in the workplace is a major issue.

"These new figures show that there is a significant problem with people being able to speak openly about mental health.

"The cost to Scottish employers by not properly supporting employees with mental health conditions is considerable, approximately £2billion a year.

"Employers have a legal and moral responsibility to look after the health and well-being of everyone who works for them and it is important to know how staff are being treated.''

Network Rail is one company working with See Me on a new programme to tackle mental health discrimination in work.

Mark Henderson, of Network Rail, said: "We are committed to helping support mental health and well-being and tackling the stigma and causes of mental health issues.

"The reality is that most people at some point in their lives will suffer from mental health challenges and have times when they struggle to cope. We look forward to working with See Me to help develop this important new initiative.''

The survey of 1,165 Scottish workers took place from April 16-21.