HR professionals are keeping quiet about their own mental health issues because they are ashamed or fear it could hamper promotion chances, new research has shown.
Of 1,070 HR professionals surveyed57.1% said they wouldn’t be happy to disclose personal conditions such as depression within their department.
The research, commissioned by national employment charity Shaw Trust, also found that just under one third would reveal a mental health condition to their line manager and only 17.9% would be happy to discuss an issue with other colleagues.
One third felt ashamed and were worried about being treated differently, 16.7% were concerned that their employer would be unsympathetic, and the same number were worried that disclosing a mental health condition would affect their chances of promotion.
Tim Cooper, Shaw Trust managing director, said: “We know that with the right support from their employers people with mental health conditions are perfectly capable of managing a job and their condition. We therefore believe it is vital that such negative issues are tackled.”
In addition, 42.9% of HR workers felt they would receive more support at work for a physical disability rather than for a mental health disorder.
The Shaw Trust has launched a range of health and wellbeing services for employers, including:
- diversity management
- managing mental health
- absence management
- vocational rehabilitation
- web accessibility
- mental health awareness training.
Cooper added: “Businesses need to create an environment in which people not only feel confident enough to discuss a mental health condition with a line manager or member of the HR team, but in which they can also receive the support they need to continue making a valuable contribution.”