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Around 91% feel people with mental health issues are treated differently at work

While speaking about mental health has become more normalised, the reality of accepting it still has a long way to go.

It seems one of the most taboo settings to accept mental health issues is in the workplace – which is tragic, considering it’s where most of us spend the majority of our time.

A recent mental health index report by LifeWorks’ found that 91% of Brits believe people with mental health conditions are treated differently at work.

Digging into the specifics, around a third struggling with mental health wouldn’t talk to colleagues or a boss about it, even though around the same number of people cite work as their primary source of stress.

This is especially concerning considering the general mental health of those surveyed has declined this year.

But it makes logical sense that this might be the case, as many employees will be working the same hours on the same wage – despite the cost of living crisis and inflation.

In fact, work stress is currently affecting the sleep of 29% of people, and is to blame for greater emotional changes for 24% of individuals.

Those who feel comfortable speaking about their mental health generally have better psychological health, the data shows, highlighting just how much influence a working environment can have on individual employee health.

If you’re looking for some pointers on how to talk about it with your manager, we’ve rounded up some suggestions below.

How speak about mental health at work:

Make time to talk: Book some time to speak to your manager so you’re not catching them when they’re busy. Equally, this will give you time to work out what to say before you sit down together.

You don’t have to spill all the details: Be brief and give the details that you are comfortable sharing – your boss doesn’t need to know everything.

You are not a burden: It’s easy to think that struggling with your mental health makes you a poor employee. That’s not true.

You can speak to other staff too: While your manager is your main point of contact, there are other members of staff that you can reach out to as well. Speaking with HR is always confidential and can be one of the ways to see what your employer can offer to support you.

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