October 2017
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Mental Health Issues Still Taboo in the Workplace

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9 was World Mental Health Day—a day when employees and employers are urged to think about how issues relating to mental health are addressed in the workplace. Many adults will grapple with depression, anxiety, or some other form of mental illness, but unfortunately, there is still stigma attached to those who admit they are suffering. “Employers are generally more understanding of the specific issues facing workers with mental illness,” says Nicole Dwyer, chief executive of employment services provider Workskil Australia. “The most progressive employers have established programs and policies in place that are helping reduce the stigma. Mental health should not be a barrier to employment, however, there are still a lot of hurdles facing job seekers with mental illness and those already in work.” She goes on to say that everyone should feel just as comfortable discussing mental health issues in the workplace as they would a physical disability. “In reality, every employer at some stage would have been faced with a temporary or longer-term mental health issue involving an employee," she says. “For employers, it’s really about listening and understanding. If you notice a change in an employee’s behavior don’t be afraid to ask if they’re OK.”

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