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.


An open letter to my colleagues about my mental illness

Dear colleagues,

I am sorry.

I realise that my behaviour has impacted those around me, both in the past, and also more recently. I don’t make excuses for the hurt that I’ve caused. And so, I’m writing you this letter because I want you to understand. Because you deserve an explanation and I think this is the best way to give you that explanation. You are honest with me and it is only fair that I do the same.

I made excuses not to talk about my depression

I lived a dual life, a private one and a public one, with depression for many years. To the outside world I had a great life – a lovely family, successful career and healthy lifestyle. But inside I was battling almost every day to simply survive, thinking I didn’t deserve any of it.

Employers found it difficult to see past my mental health problems

I have had serious mental health problems most of my life but despite this I work and live independently.

Feeling part of society has had the single most positive impact on the state of my mental health. Unfortunately, it is the very thing that stigma and prejudice has the most negative impact on.

People didn't think a man in his thirties could have an eating disorder

People like opposites. Right or wrong. Pass or fail. Leave or remain.

It’s how I often think about my mental health. I am well or ill. Recovered or relapsed. Coping or not coping.

Three years into my recovery from anorexia, I’m learning to admit that my mental health is not black or white. I’m learning how to talk about not being 100%.

As a man who loves both musical theatre and rugby, I am not anyone’s model of traditional masculinity. Fun for me is found in the shades of grey. In disagreement and debate. In diversity.

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