A new poll of 500 business leaders carried out by Trajectory has revealed that four in 10 managers believe recruiting individuals with mental health conditions in a job which involves dealing with the public or clients poses a ‘significant risk’. In addition to this, nearly one in four were unable to name a single mental illness.
The survey, which was carried out on behalf of the Shaw Trust (a charity which provides employment services for disabled and disadvantaged people) also found that up to three-quarters of the companies have no formal policy when it comes to stress and mental illness.
The poll also revealed that one in four companies are of the belief that individuals with a mental health concern are less reliable that other employees. Director of colleague engagement at Sainsbury’s supermarket, Jacki Connor, has actually said many stores find people with mental health issues to be more reliable and staff absence among them is below average.
Though far more needs to be done to eliminate this stigma, there are signs which indicate that times are changing. According to figures, back in 2006 only 11 per cent of companies employed someone with a mental health condition, a figure which has now raised to 21 per cent.