70% Of Bosses Don't Think Mental Health Problems Merit Time Off Work

mental health and the workplaceThe devastating story of Germanwings Pilot, Andreas Lubitz crashing the Airbus he was co-piloting into the French Alps has highlighted the issue of mental health in the workplace.

 Lubitz had been treated for mental illness in the past and was hiding an undisclosed illness from his employer which ultimately led to a suicide mission which tragically took his and 149 other people’s lives.

Whilst many might question why this young pilot couldn’t talk to his employer about his problems, a new survey has revealed a worrying attitude amongst managers towards employees who suffer from stress, anxiety or depression.

An incredible seven out of 10 bosses don’t think that mental illness is a valid reason for time off work. What makes this figure even more surprising is the fact that 25% of managers admitted that they themselves have suffered from a mental illness at some point.

The survey also looked into managers’ attitudes towards those who are currently suffering or who have suffered with mental illnesses in the past. One in five said it would make them worry about the employee’s ability to do their job properly and one in six admitted that they would be concerned about the personal consequences such as having to pick up additional work.

Emma Mamo, head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind commented:

“Employees experiencing unmanageable stress or mental health problems can still carry out their role to a high standard, but might need extra support. Those who work within a culture where poor mental health is not considered a valid reason for time off will be reluctant to open up about their own problems.

Not only is looking after staff the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense because it results in increased productivity, morale and retention.”

If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with stress, depression or anxiety, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programme Page for more information about the symptoms and treatments available. If you would like help with a mental illness you can also contact Life Works today.

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