Managers need help managing mental illness

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/  25 August 2011

A NATIONAL survey has painted an “unsatisfactory picture” on how mental illness is managed in the workplace, the charity Sane Australia says.

The survey, Australia’s Working life and mental illness, by the national mental health charity Sane found that 95 per cent of the 520 respondents thought employers and managers needed education on mental illness and how to manage its effects in the workplace.

While more than 60 per cent said their mental illness had not been a barrier when finding a job, the majority said that no support had been provided to them once they were in the workplace.

“The survey paints a concerning and unsatisfactory picture of Australian workplaces,” SANE Australia’s Executive Director, Barbara Hocking said in a statement today.

“Many employees, including those who care for a family member with a mental illness, are being disadvantaged by a lack of flexibility, such as being able to work part-time, to work from home at times or to have adjustments made in the workplace,” she said.

“As a result, businesses lose experienced employees and have to spend time and money investing in new people.”

But there was good news.

According to the survey, two thirds of people reported to have disclosed their illness to their employer or manager.

 

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