How would you respond if you found out your colleague was hit by a bus? Would you send flowers? Call them? Reach out to their family? What if you found out your colleague jumped in front of the bus…Would this change how you reacted?
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recently posted this very interesting and important article on employees perspectives on disclosing mental health problems to employers. The statistics are shocking – 38% of 2219 working adults in Ontario would not tell their employer about a mental health issue because they were worried it would affect their careers.
How do you feel about this number? Would you tell your employer? Reflecting on your work role – would you disclose to your employer? Why or why not?
Have a look at the article here: http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/news_releases_media_advisories_and_backgrounders/current_year/Pages/Would-you-tell-your-manager-you-had-a-mental-health-problem.aspx
We also know from data from the Mental Health Commission of Canada that 77% of working aged adults in Ontario wouldn’t even seek treatment for mental health issues due to stigma.
It is clear that stigma is the main issue here. We all have a responsibility as individuals to understand what mental illness is and treat people with respect and compassion, the way we would want others to be treated. Isn’t that the golden rule?
What can you do today to reduce stigma? Perhaps reflect on your thoughts around mental health, consider your language use, and perhaps share this article with a friend or colleague to spread an anti-stigma awareness.