Mental health stigma is decreasing

More than a quarter (28%) of respondents believe there is less stigma around mental health issues in the workplace compared to a year ago, according to research by Aviva.

Aviva’s Health of the workplace 2012 report, which has been launched to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, found that, of those respondents who considered mental health stigma to be decreasing, 48% attributed this to better understanding of disorders among peers and colleagues.

Other reasons given for the decrease included: television and press campaigns, government and celebrities talking about their own mental health.

However, 35% of respondents said that mental health still remains a taboo subject and 56% said that physicall illness will always carry less stigma than mental health. The research also found that 34% of employer respondents would like to implement more support for employees with mental health issues.

Doug Wright, medical director at Aviva, UK Health, said: “Mental health is high on the agenda for both employees and employers in the UK.

“Employers have a vital role in helping to support those who are suffering from depression, anxiety or other psychiatric conditions. There are many companies that offer no support at all to employees, but equally, we are seeing more companies starting to provide support and running training and awareness campaigns.”