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Blog article: Mental health in the workplace

Blog article: Mental health in the workplace
by Una Wilson, Advisory Services Team, Equality Commission NI

We all need to be more open about facing up to issues around mental health and talking about them. Mental ill-health in the workplace is an issue of growing concern and employers cannot afford to shy away from dealing with any difficulties which arise. Disabling mental health conditions are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and employers and service providers have the same responsibilities to people with mental ill health as to those with more physical – and visible – disabilities.

This is important to many people in Northern Ireland. A 2016 report by the Mental Health Foundation found that one in five people here will experience mental health problems at some stage in their life. And that has an impact on business as well as on the individuals and their families. The report calculated a cost of £26 billion per year for UK businesses, based on estimates of 10% due to replacing staff, 30% for sick absence and 60% as a result of reduced productivity. Prevention and early intervention could greatly reduce these impacts.

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