Three-fifths of Scottish mental health sufferers did not admit problem to employer

Only 40 per cent of Scottish workers who have suffered from mental health problems have talked to their manager about these issues, new research has revealed.
Only 40 per cent of Scottish workers who have suffered from mental health problems have talked to their manager about these issues, new research has revealed.

Only 40 per cent of Scottish workers who have suffered from mental health problems have talked to their manager about these issues, new research has revealed.

The study of 1,388 workers commissioned by Willis PMI Group, part of Willis Towers Watson, found the biggest reason for this is that sufferers do not believe their manager would understand.

This was cited by 33 per cent of respondents in Scotland as their main concern, followed by the worry they would not receive appropriate support (27 per cent). Further reasons included the fear it would impact upon job prospects (25 per cent) and concern it might make management think less of them (17 per cent).

“Mental illness remains an incredibly delicate subject and one that requires urgent attention from employers in order to better manage staff wellbeing and sickness absence,” said Mike Blake, director at Willis PMI Group.

“It is unlikely we would ever see a situation with physical illness where most people are unwilling to report it to management, so companies must ensure employees with mental health issues do not suffer in silence.

“The proper recording of sickness and absence related to mental health is a crucial first step in tackling the problem, but this can only happen if staff are given the assurance they can report issues in confidentiality and without judgement.”

The Willis PMI Group study further revealed that 32 per cent of Scottish workers believe mental illness is a private issue that should be dealt with by the individual.

However, workers were found to be more open about mental health issues outside of work.

More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of Scots said they would talk to their family and friends if they were suffering from mental health issues.