1 in 6 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety and depression every year. It is a myth that people with mental health problems can’t work. With the right support people with mental health problems perform vital roles in workplaces across the country.

However, mental health stigma and discrimination in the workplace remain an issue. The blogs below are written by people who have experience of mental illness in the workplace and show the different ways people can react.

By writing about their experiences they aim to raise awareness of the issue and challenge stereotypes around something that can affect all of us. Pledge to talk about your experiences of mental health >>

Read more about what support is available at work and information for managers and employers.


Don't give false empathy to mental illness - learn how to be supportive

I work in a large factory, so I meet a lot of people with very different attitudes and opinions about mental health. I was diagnosed with severe depression just over 8 years ago. At that time I had a few months off work, had counselling and went on to medication. My employers were good and understanding. But the people I work with are a different matter. 

I don’t advertise that I have depression but I make no secret of it. If someone wants to talk to me about it, I will talk. And a few people have genuinely been interested.

Returning to work after my mental health problem was a challenge

When I landed my dream job as an editor at Oxford University Press, I thought I had my career mapped out ahead of me. I started my first ‘proper’ job bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, excited to develop myself and be involved in the wonderful world of publishing.

What I didn’t anticipate, however, was that a few months into my new job, anorexia would rear its incredibly ugly head and do its utmost to destroy me, taking my career with it.

A lack of compassion left me isolated when I needed help

I had just started working for a new employer following a three-year break in my career due to my mental health problems. I was looking forward to building a new career, developing professional skills, making new friends and finally moving forward in my life.

I've been judged at work because of my mental health

I saw a lot of employers posting about Mental Health Awareness Week. It is absolutely crucial we start conversations about the realities of mental illness and it’s great that it’s happening, but I wish some employers would stop kidding themselves.

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