September 2017
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Ireland Seeks to End Stigma of Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Over the past decade, there have been marked increases in understanding and discourse regarding mental illness, but the unfortunate reality is that a great deal of stigma is still attached to these conditions, particularly in the workplace. However, researchers and doctors in Ireland are working to change that. The See Change Workplace program, launched in 2015, aims to make the professional lives of those suffering from mental health issues easier. “When we started initially, we realized that there was a huge stigma around mental health,” says Dolores Kavanagh, coordinator of the program. “From doing our own research in 2010–2012, we found that stigma was most common in the workplace and people were less likely to seek help for mental health issues at work.” The program includes a pledge-based, six-step exercise. Organizations that sign up must provide training for managers about mental health issues in the workplace, as well as develop a policy document for the company codifying how mental illness will be managed. The program also requires the organization to train staff in well-being practices and nominate staff champions whom employees can go to with issues.

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