A new study has found that 300,000 people with a long term mental illness lose their jobs each year, Emma Parker reports
Mental health can sometimes be dismissed because of the lack of physical appearance, not only in everyday life but also in the work place. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness, and with approximately 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year it is a common issue in the work place – yet such a taboo subject. Therefore, people are being laid off work instead of getting the help they need. The Mind chief executive Paul Farmer found that 50% more people with mental health issues were forced to stop work rather than a physical health condition.
Grace Lilley, a mental health sufferer, has had to quit two of her jobs because of her situation: “Working with mental health issues is hard, it makes the job you’re doing seem 10 times harder than it has to be … Not really being there mentally but still being expected to do everything perfectly and talk to customers was hard”. When told about the new study, Lilley stated: “It is an awful thing to be happening. Due to the lack of funding on mental health on the NHS and the sigma that still sits around it, it’s disappointing not more is done as that number could be incredibly reduced”.
Lilley is one of those that has been too worried to tell her boss about her mental health, however some jobs will not let you apply without declaring your mental state. Opportunities are being missed due to mental health, and people are blaming the NHS for lack of help and support. However, a new report commissioned by Theresa May, says the annual cost of the UK economy of poor mental health is up to £99 billion and that the Government needs to take action.