Study shows some firms still avoid health taboo

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AHEAD of Mental Health Awareness Week, an expert lawyer has said that, although the taboo is starting to shift, employers still need to be more vocal.

Sue Ball, head of employment at Verisona Law, said that firms must follow their legal responsibilities if they wanted to see improvements.

According to the Health & Safety Executive, 11 million working days are lost each year due to stress in the workplace.

Research among workers by MIND, the mental health charity, found that a continuing culture of fear and silence around the topic was adding up to a big cost to employers.

Sue said: ‘‘It’s important to avoid an atmosphere where an employee feels that raising the issue of mental health may affect their future prospects, or that they will feel stigmatised by asking for help.

‘In creating and maintaining a culture of wellbeing, an employer should start from a perspective of how best to provide everyone with responsible support and protection from unfair or discriminatory treatment and should reflect that in processes and practice.’