A majority of Australians would hide their mental health status from their employers as fears of unfair treatment in the workplace persist.
Wayahead data reveals seven in 10 Australians wouldn’t tell their employer about a condition, while 53 per cent of those with a lived experience believe stigma prevails in the workplace.
Of those with lived experience, 38 per cent say they have copped unfair treatment at work, with 64 per cent saying they would hide their status because they’re worried about discrimination.
Australian Association of Psychologists director Tegan Carrison said the numbers showed workplaces weren’t doing enough to make their employees feel comfortable.
“The research demonstrates we still have a lot of work to do in reducing stigma and discrimination of mental health,” she said.
“Stigma and fear of discrimination lessen the likelihood that people will seek the help they need. We also need to improve availability and access to person-centred mental health care when people do reach out for help.”
Wayahead’s survey found 18 per cent of those with a lived experience of a mental health condition waited three years to get help, while 15 per cent had not sought any help.
Nearly three in 10 said they didn’t even feel their GP had treated them fairly when they looked to them for assistance.
Of those with non-lived experience, 68 per cent agreed more needed to be done to stop discrimination towards people with adverse mental health problems.
Just seven per cent felt workplaces always provided a safe environment for people with mental health complaints.
“Stigma and discrimination violate basic human rights and have toxic effects on people experiencing mental health issues, reducing education and employment opportunities, and social inclusion,” Wayahead CEO Sharon Grocott said in a statement.
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