10% of staff uncomfortable disclosing mental health issues

Around one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year – are you prepared to handle such issues at work?

HR professionals will, on average, oversee 15 staff with mental health conditions each year, according to new analysis to help mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
But, according to a recent study by Legal & General, less than 10% of employees feel comfortable disclosing mental health conditions to their employer – meaning that HR may face a challenge in supporting these individuals adequately.
The research – carried out by the Clear Company – is based on existing data-sets. According to figures from XpertHR, the median number of employees per HR practitioner was 62.5 in 2016. Meanwhile, approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year according to mental health charity, Mind.
Clear Company Director Kate Headley said: “HR professionals are required to assist employees with mental health conditions under the Equality Act 2010. However, low levels of disclosure continue to be a barrier to support.
“With this in mind, HR strategists should look at ways to foster a culture of openness which actively encourages staff to share their needs on an ongoing basis so that they can be fully supported.
“Reasonable adjustments for candidates and employees with mental health conditions may include; support with managing workload, flexible hours to allow for periods of rest, a desk in a quiet area of the office to help manage anxiety, time off work to attend appointments or a little extra time to make decisions to help manage stress.
“Ultimately, no one is in a better position than the person living with a mental health condition to determine what support they need – but HR can only get the ball rolling once lines of communication are opened.”

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