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.


My manager's response made a huge difference to my mental health

Lauren, July 22, 2020

I’ve experienced mental health problems for many years now, but apart from a few close friends and family members, I found it hard to talk about. I felt that no one around me could understand what I was going through just trying to get through day-to-day life, at work and generally.

In 2018 I had a particularly negative experience in my workplace at the time. I disclosed my generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety to my line manager. She gave a dismissive response and an unfortunate, repeated stigmatising attitude.

It's not what it looks like - I have anxiety

Jenna Bella Oldridge, April 1, 2020

“Can you pull over by here please?” I ask the taxi driver. 

“Are you sure?” he replies, “because I can drop you at the gate?”

“No, by here is fine.” I tell him. I pay my fare and exit the car as quickly as possible, looking around to make sure none of my colleagues are about. 

I've gotten the taxi driver to drop me at the side of my workplace building, instead of at the front. This is to make sure less people see me arrive in a taxi.

Let me make decisions on how to handle my anxiety

Nicky, February 10, 2020

I'd like to talk about my experiences with work, good and bad. The reaction of a manager to your disclosure of mental health difficulties can really make a difference to the way you feel and how open you’ll be with future employers.

I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’ve been diagnosed with panic disorder. Over the years my anxiety has had peaks and troughs and I’ve needed to tell my managers about it.

If someone's struggling, try to help them, don't blame them

Luke, October 23, 2019

I was 23 years old, I had found the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with, and I was feeling content…and then out of the blue, a bombshell came that was going to massively affect my life. My wife, being a caring and compassionate person, tried to help a family member financially, and was left with their crippling debts. We stuck together through the two years of fixing the damage, but it took so much out of me emotionally. Sadly our relationship has never been the same.

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