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UK workers would rather discuss sex than mental health

Wednesday 3rd January 2018
Despite growing awareness, mental health is still a difficult subject for many people to talk about, new research highlights. Image: MangoStar_Studio via iStock
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Mental health support workers may need to be more closely involved at UK workplaces in 2018 to help break down some of the stigma that still surrounds mental health, after a recent survey revealed just 13 per cent of employees would be happy discussing the subject at work.

In fact, according to the research from Time to Change, workers would be much more comfortable talking about a relationship break-up with their colleagues, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they'd prefer this topic of conversation.

Meanwhile, more than one-quarter (26 per cent) of those questioned said they'd rather disclose their financial problems to their workmates and 20 per cent would be more comfortable asking for dating advice than talking about their mental health.

What's more, 19 per cent of workers reported they'd rather discuss religion and 18 per cent even said they would prefer to talk about sex in a professional environment than mental wellbeing.

Historically, disclosing mental health issues in the workplace has affected some patients' career prospects, but with awareness around common illnesses like depression and anxiety increasing, it should no longer be an issue for workers to raise the subject of mental health at work.

Not all employers will know how to deal with such a situation, but this is where the support of mental health workers can prove valuable, educating bosses on how to help their employees achieve their full potential in the workplace in spite of any health issues - physical and mental - that they may suffer from.

Speaking to the Independent, Kerry McGowan, a human resources expert and managing director at HR Specialists, commented: "If you have the right support in place, employees can still contribute in the workplace with mental health issues.

"If employers take a positive approach to mental health issues, we all gain from keeping the widest talent in our workforce."

Written by Angela Newbury

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