Mental Health
in the Workplace
Alex Connor
Senior Health Improvement Practitioner
The Business Case
It is estimated that a total of 2.2m working days are lost every year
through mental ill health in Scotland (SAMH, 2007)
Each case of stress-related ill health leads to an average of 29
working days lost per person per year (CITB)
34% of mental health service users are dismissed or forced to
resign work because of mental health issues (Read & Barker)
53% of service users in employment are fearful of revealing their
mental health problems to employers (MIND 2001)
30% unemployment among people with disabilities but 72% for
people disabled through mental ill health
(Disability Rights Commission Scotland)
Benefits of a mentally
healthy workplace
People who have experienced a mental health problem can be
more aware of their own strengths and weakness
Providing support at an early stage can prevent escalation of a
Staff will feel supported and valued resulting in a healthier, more
motivated and productive workforce
Employment or other valued activity is key to maintaining positive
mental health
Your reputation and profile will be enhanced as a responsible and
well managed organisation helping to attract and keep employees
Legislation relating to workplaces
• The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
• The Equality Act 2010
• The Act protects all workers
• At every stage of the recruitment process
• During employment
• In relation to harassment
• At termination of employment
• During any redundancy programme
Protection for People with
Mental Health Problems
• Can disclose problem at any point
• Employers must consider ‘reasonable
adjustments’ from time of disclosure
• Direct discrimination, victimisation, harassment
and a failure to make adjustments that are
reasonable can never be justified
Reasonable Adjustments
• Have a duty to provide reasonable adjustments
• Must negotiate reasonable adjustments with
• Financial burden not an automatic reason not to
make adjustments
• Examples of reasonable adjustments
Job Retention Strategies
• Positive perspective on mental illness
• Job satisfaction
• A good fit between the job and the individual’s skills
and abilities
• Supportive and well trained management
• Early intervention and sufficient time off work to aid
• Individually tailored return to work programmes and
workplace adjustments
Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace
Working conditions
Staff consultation
Clear expectations
Stigma and discrimination
Pace and style of work
Regular supervision and appraisal
Provide reasonable adjustments
Reward achievement
Promote healthy lifestyles
Health at Work
Tel: 0141 314 0024
Healthy Working Lives
Adviceline 0800 019 2211