Research published by Acas has highlighted the question of line manager confidence and competency in supporting individuals with mental health conditions. It also calls for a “joined-up” approach to managing mental health at work and a shared commitment from senior and front line managers, and peers. Awareness has risen about the problems associated with mental health in society. With many celebrities and politicians publicly speaking about mental health issues the stigma attached to these issues has died down.
In the case of the workplace, it’s a question of both creating the right climate, and adopting appropriate practices and behaviours to support individuals who struggle with mental health issues. The Acas research also found that disclosing a mental health condition to a line manager can be something of a gamble, and found that 41% of people did not disclose their mental health condition because of a sense of shame. The Acas research hints strongly at the need to guard against creating “anxious organisations”: where external pressures translate into stress for individuals, or where change is poorly managed.