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Kate Summers
Research Assistant
Kate Summers

Time to talk about mental health

Authors: Kate Summers

06 February 2014

Today people across the country will be sitting down to have a cup of tea and a chat about mental health as part of Time to Talk Day. Time to Talk Day is an initiative being run by Time to Change to get people talking about mental health, to foster supportive workplaces and communities, and to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health conditions. We’ve been getting ready to host our own event here at The Work Foundation, and I have even managed to produce a home made carrot cake that I think my Granny would be proud of!

Mental health conditions are very common, and the oft used statistic that one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes is probably a conservative estimate. Sadly stigma and discrimination are still common reactions towards mental health conditions. The Work Foundation’s own work in this area has found that stigma in the workplace has meant that people with severe mental health conditions who could be playing productive roles in the workforce are often excluded from doing so. As treatments improve, the greatest remaining challenge for employers is to foster a workplace environment where people are not prevented from disclosing their condition and seeking help so that they receive the appropriate support.

I hope that Time to Talk Day demonstrates how easy it is to support the mental wellbeing of one’s colleagues, friends, or family; taking a few minutes to have a cuppa and a chat can make the world of difference. I also hope that today marks an ongoing shift towards a de-stigmatised, compassionate and supportive approach to mental health both in and out of the workplace. 

More blogs about mental health and the workplace can be found here.