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.


I put my mental health problems down to teenage worries

At school, while I had a few friends, I often struggled to connect with people. This was mainly down to my parents disapproving of my friends, which led to me isolating myself. I started to sink into deep depression. I didn’t understand how I felt at the time and I did not feel able to talk about my battles with depression and anxiety, so I put my problems down to general school worries and teenage hormones.

Managing the black dog that is depression

I’ve spent the past 15 years of my career – in recruitment and HR – raising awareness of disability issues in the workplace, encouraging individuals to disclose disabilities to employers, coaching partners through assessment and hiring decisions, encouraging candidates to choose a firm where they can show their true self at work and, above all else, selling the supportive culture of the law firms for which I have worked.

People shouldn’t make assumptions about my schizoaffective disorder

“But you seem normal, you can’t have schizoaffective disorder? I know of someone with that and she can’t work, and she can’t go to Uni. You do both, maybe you’ve been misdiagnosed!”

Thank you for your opinion, however you do not have as much specialist knowledge as my psychiatrist.

When I was eight years old, I had overwhelming feelings of self-hatred and intrusive thoughts.

When I was nine years old I was suicidal.

Mental health is dismissed within my culture

Mental health was not a term known to me until around two years ago. I didn’t know anything about the importance of your own wellbeing, nor did I understand the devastating impact it would have on people I know. If I know anything about mental health issues it’s through my own research after a conversation with colleagues or friends. Whilst I love my heritage, the reason I knew nothing of about it is probably down to my culture and community. 

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