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.


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. 

People’s reactions to my mental illness made it harder to deal with

When I first started battling with my mental health, I thought the mental illness would be the hardest thing to deal with - little did I know that other people’s reactions to said mental illness would make the battle into a war. Ultimately it feels like an attack on you, as your illness is part of who you are. In reality, it’s due to a lack of understanding.

Anxiety is more common than ever in young people

‘You’re not really ill though are you?’

This was what my colleague said to me, while I was explaining why I had to go home early from work that day. I had just finished crying and felt tired, overwhelmed and exhausted. I felt short of breath and panicky; what I imagine a mild heart attack might feel like. Guess I wasn’t explaining this clearly enough to him.

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