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  1. #1
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    Prejudice in the workplace

    Prejudice in the workplace
    By John Gale

    A survey by the Shaw Trust of chief executives and human resource (personnel) directors has found an alarming level of ignorance and prejudice about mental-health issues. Nearly three-quarters of employers thought that less than 5% of their staff might suffer a mental-health problem and eight out of ten said that their organisation had no policy on stress and mental ill health. One in five employers believed that someone who had been off work with stress, depression or other mental-health problems for more than a few weeks would be unlikely fully to recover. One in three thought people with a mental-health problem would be less reliable than other employees and half said that companies would be taking a major risk when employing them.

    You can download a copy of the report via the Shaw Trust's web site at www.shaw-trust.org.ukwww.shaw-trust.org.uk.


  2. #2
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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    an alarming level of ignorance and prejudice about mental-health issues
    reading the above, i'm not a bit surprised, after all the stigma of having mental illness is what prevents a lot of ppl from telling anyone about their problem.
    and the workplace would be one place that i certainly wouldn't open my mouth and relay that kind of info. I'd be afraid that after a day or two or maybe a week a reason would be found to be let go.
    Ireland is no better on the ignorance front than any other country, i believe, even tho strides have been made in certain areas of the health dept, re mentally ill pattients.


    nsa

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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    this is why i never divulged any info at work, too worried it might not be understood and that i would be viewed in a different light.
    ~ our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall - confucius
    ~ it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
    ~ keep hanging on, the sun will come shining through for you again

  4. #4
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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    Well I have to say that I felt the exact same way as both NSA and BBC.

    I can recall shortly after I was hospitalized some years ago, I was let go from my job for basically no reason. They would not come right out and tell me why they were letting me go but I knew and they didn't have to say it. From that point onward I have always been afraid of people at work getting to close and me divulging too much information.

    Although I have to admit that recently I have been more upfront with my 2 immediate bosses who understand and are not judgmental. I have not told them a lot of specifics but by telling them a little about me, it helps them understand me a bit better. I have to admit that I think our work relationship has gotten much better since I have told them a little about me. I have to admit that I still have a deep seeded fear that they are going to think that I am weak, hopeless and unable to do my job and therefore will fire me but I know that it is my fear inside my head and nothing to do with my job performance.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that sometimes being honest about ourselves with select people at work is not as bad as expected.


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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    sometimes being honest about ourselves with select people at work is not as bad as expected.
    i think you might be right Nancy, but for me it would depend on WHO I divulge the info to. You are indeed very lucky to have understanding bosses. Not all bosses are the same unfortunately.

    and i think you are right in saying that the fear is inside your head.. they would have fired you long before now if it was real and if they weren't so understanding.

    Maybe you are the exception rather than the rule where mental illness in the workplace is frowned upon and feared.

    I hope that sentence was worded right , if not will some one correct it for me.

    nsa

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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    NSA

    I do think that it was worded correctly and I completely understand what you meant. I am lucky to have two wonderful understanding bosses who are not scared or try to shy away from mental health issues. Being in the field that I am in, I see a lot of our clients and also people I work with who suffer from mental health issues also. I do have to admit that I have asked my bosses not to discuss this with anyone else and I know that they have respected my privacy.

    Yes I think that I am the exception to the rule on disclosing information to my bosses. Although I have to admit that I just give them the basic details or minimum information needed to satisfy both myself and them.

    I know that the fear of being fired is all in my head and although it was so long ago that fear is still there....weird how one event can leave a lasting impression on me and my fears.....I was going to say for life but I think with therapy and positive reinforcement at work that it will deminish.

  7. #7
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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    Nancy: thanks for saying i had that sentence worded right, i was worried it wasn't.

    i think giving your bosses the basics is enuff, anything else is your own private business.. and the fact they understand that is great!.

    You are right with your last sentence, i agree with you on it. therapy and positive reinforcement at work and here, that fear will dissapear, you might remember how you felt but without the feelings attached toit and that will be great!

    thinking of you as always

    nsa

  8. #8
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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    After I took a sick leave in April I told my boss why. He didn't know before and I kept worrying he'd think I was just saying "sick" to get time off because visibly there was nothing wrong with me.

    Since I came back I've been much better and I'm glad I took the time. I'm also glad I told my boss because he's been supportive and understanding. I too asked him not to share this info with anyone, which he hasn't (to my knowledge anyway).

    I'm glad I told him because in the future if things get bad, I'm more confident that I won't have to worry about losing my job over it and he'll support me to get better.

    This is the first time I've ever told an employer. My boss at my part-time job doesn't know, but doesn't need to either.

    I can fully understand why it's in a person's best interests not to tell. It's taking a huge risk that alot of people can't afford to take, and would only add to the problem. There's still so much stigma out there and so many people think "if she wanted to be happy, she could be. It's a choice." and in fact my boss did say that to me - I have to choose to be happy. Sure, and you have to choose that kidney problem you have.

  9. #9
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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    BG,

    I am also glad that someone else had a positive experience with telling their employer.

    I really liked what you said....it cracked me up and I think that maybe I will swipe that one from you and use it next time I need it.

    It's a choice." and in fact my boss did say that to me - I have to choose to be happy. Sure, and you have to choose that kidney problem you have

  10. #10
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    Re: Prejudice in the workplace

    I have to agree with Nancy on your post BG.. it's brill

    well done.

    nsa

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