Break The Culture Of Silence To Tackle Mental Health


Is your business supporting employee wellbeing?

Stigma surrounding mental health is prevalent all around the world and it’s something that’s especially huge within workplace cultures. This can be for various reasons such as, fear of it impacting your job or role within the workplace, fear of judgement, competition and more. 

Overall, stigma within the workplace refers to negative attitudes, beliefs, and stereotypes that exist within a workplace environment regarding mental health issues.

Mental health stigma can manifest in various ways, including: 

  • Misunderstanding & Ignorance: Lack of awareness and understanding about mental health conditions can lead to misconceptions and stereotypes. This may result in colleagues or supervisors invalidating or downplaying the experiences of those with mental health challenges.
  • Culture of Silence: In some workplaces, there may be an unwritten rule to avoid discussing mental health openly. This culture of silence can prevent individuals from seeking help or support when needed and perpetuate feelings of shame or isolation.
  • Fear of Discrimination: Employees may fear discrimination or negative repercussions if they disclose their mental health struggles, such as being passed over for promotions, receiving less favourable treatment, or even facing termination.
  • Perceived Weakness: There may be a perception that struggling with mental health issues is a sign of weakness or incompetence, which can discourage individuals from seeking assistance or accommodations.
  • Barriers to Accessing Support: Limited access to mental health resources, such as counselling services or flexible work arrangements, can further marginalize individuals who are dealing with mental health challenges.

Ways your business can tackle mental health stigma in the workplace:

Addressing mental health stigma at work requires a multi-faceted approach that involves education, awareness-raising, and creating a supportive and inclusive environment where employees feel safe to discuss their mental health concerns without fear of judgment or reprisal.

This can include implementing anti-stigma campaigns, providing mental health training for managers and employees, offering employee assistance programs, and fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and support.

In regard to external occupational therapists, they can provide a fresh perspective and offer coping strategies tailored to individual needs, helping employees navigate workplace stressors and challenges more effectively. Overall, seeking support from an external therapist can be empowering and beneficial for employees struggling with mental health issues, offering them a valuable outlet for support and understanding.

Therapists adhere to principles of confidentiality, unbiased views, respect and empowerment. This makes employees feel more secure and less judged compared with speaking to colleagues or managers as there’s no conflict of interest and therapists are impartial.

At UKIM Occupational Health & Wellbeing, we understand the importance of creating a healthy and supportive work environment. Our conversation-starting and bespoke workplace wellbeing initiatives can help combat issues around stigma, further improving wellbeing states across your businesses.