Mental Health Foundation have just published this research on workplaces and mental health.
Certainly this is a topic that we are very passionate about in terms of recognising people as assets with a variety of strengths that can come from life experiences that others, and self-stigma, may label as weakness.
“It harms recovery a great deal because they don’t believe you.”
We are interested in working with any employers or employees in Moray who are keen to help create a change in their culture that supports the mental health of all employees and challenges the stigma that many people face who deal with long-term conditions including mental ill-health.
The Equality Act (2010) covers many people with mental health problems. This is because, whether or not individuals recognise it, and whether or not they disclose at work, most mental health problems meet the Act’s definition of disability.
As the publication points out employers need to take an interest if nothing else to ensure that they legally comply with the law.
We know that experiences of stigma and discrimination have a major effect, through self-stigma, on an individual’s future attitudes to disclosure and help- seeking, and on their beliefs about their own abilities and potential. We see this anticipated discrimination in the reasons outlined for not disclosing, and through
the qualitative interviews. These factors underline how important it is to ensure that disclosing is a positive experience for staff experiencing distress or mental health problems for the first time.
And key to us is the importance of choice in disclosure, and with that a potential role for Champions in the workplace to be celebrated and supported by employers for their role in tackling stigma by being peer leaders. We are very keen to support the increase of peer leadership in the workplace, giving hope for recovery and peer support in their work environment.
Additionally tools like WRAP can be used not only for individuals, but for workplaces and teams as well. This is another area we hope to develop with increasing the number and diversity of WRAP facilitators in 2017.