Mental health at work

Stigma and discrimination in the workplace is a key issue for many employers and employees, for those trying to get a job and for people returning to work following a period of poor mental health. Find out more about creating a mentally healthy work environment.

Tackling mental health stigma and discrimination in the workplace has been a core part of See Me’s work for over a decade now.

We are seeing improvement when it comes to mental health at work - 63% of respondents to a 2021 See Me survey told us that they would want to support someone in their team who was struggling with their mental health because they have experienced something similar. That's compared to almost half (49%) who would have said the same in 2015.

However, while we are seeing progress, the Scottish Mental Illness Stigma Study showed that stigma in the workplace continues to be a huge barrier for many Scots, with three quarters of people with experience of severe and enduring mental illness (77%) saying that they had been treated unfairly at work – and 50% said that they expected to be asked to leave employment as a result of their mental illness.

This stigma has a big impact, preventing people from pursuing new opportunities or even speaking about their mental health.

“I had to eventually take time off work when everything got bad. I went over and over in my head, thinking my colleagues wouldn't understand why I was off, that my boss wouldn't get it and then I wouldn't be given any responsibility at work. I thought it would lead to a backwards step with my career because people would judge me.” - Shiona McCallum, See Me Ambassador

However, we know that when workplaces get it right on mental health, it creates an atmosphere where people can flourish, help attract, recruit and retain staff, and improve the reputation of the organisation.

More and more people and organisations are beginning to understand the impact of poor mental health in the workplace, but it can be challenging to create a mentally healthy working environment where people are supported and feel able to speak about their mental health when they are struggling. This requires ongoing and sustained change – at individual, organisational, community and societal levels.

We’ve seen first-hand how much of an impact tackling mental health stigma at work can have. Our suite of tools and resources, some of which have been developed in partnership with people with experience of mental health problems, are all designed to help you be a part of that change, whether you’re looking to start small or do something on a larger scale.

We’ve got a range of freely available tools to help you take action:

  • As an employee and/or colleague
  • As an employer, HR professional, organisational development and/or staff training professional
  • As a support and/or partner organisation

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For more information on See Me’s offer to support mental health at work, get in touch on our contact page.

Getting help

See Me is not able to provide any direct support or advice to individuals in mental distress. If you need support or advice urgently, there are a number of places you can get in touch with.

Urgent Help

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Anyone can be part of the movement and help to tackle stigma and discrimination. You can do as little or as much as you're able to and it all makes a difference.

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