According to the charity, the figures show:
- 68% of employers hiring someone with severe mental health issues worry they won’t fit into the team
- 83% of employers would worry someone with a severe mental illness couldn’t deal with the pressures of the job
- 54% of employers surveyed wouldn’t know how to support someone with schizophrenia
The one that really made for eye-opening reading was:
“Only 43% of all people with mental health problems are in employment, compared to 74% of the general population.” – Rethink Mental Illness survey 2017
How can society do this to people who have illnesses they can’t help? Would they do the same to someone with a broken leg? The problem is, many employers aren’t sure how to deal with people who suffer mentally. Do you treat us differently? Do you treat us the same but keep an extra eye out?
Recently a lady in the US tweeted about how she needed to take a ‘mental health day off’ and what her boss’ reaction was. Read the article here. It went viral because he responded in such an accepting way and thanked her for reminding everyone of the importance of mental health sick days.
Programmes like Time to Change (of which I’m a Champion – Read my story) are helping to end this stigma and also helping organisations to understand what to do when someone needs help. Years ago, I faced discrimination and not great treatment after I was diagnosed with depression. I was made to feel bad about myself, the work I was doing and the fact I didn’t wear make-up to work to ‘make myself more presentable’.
All of the above is why I got involved and became a Champion. I’m proud of how far I’ve come in my career despite my mental health not always being up to scratch. Being accepted by colleagues and in fact, respected, really helps. I was thanked by someone who’d been having mental health issues for reassuring her that there’s no shame in talking about it. Because there isn’t.
For those who won’t hire someone with a mental health issue, thank you. You make us realise how awesome and how much potential we have. It might knock us down initially but when we find the right organisation, it builds us up bigger and better than before.
If this has happened to you, keep going. You can beat this and find the right job for you.
Stay positive 🙂