Mental health problems 'can affect employment opportunities'

People with mental health problems may find that their employment opportunities are affected by the stigma surrounding such conditions.

Psychologist Nick Adams has claimed such perceptions can result in employers being less willing to consider the prospect of hiring a person with experience of mental health issues.

The expert noted some bosses may be concerned that these individuals may be more likely to take time off sick or will not be able to perform as effectively as other members of a team.

"This is often due to the employer having little understanding of mental health problems and their effects on people's work," he explained.

Mr Adams added that because of this stigma, managers may be more inclined to employee an applicant who has no experience of mental health conditions above somebody who has.

Time to Change recently conducted a study that revealed mental health is not widely discussed in workplaces across the UK, with just 29.7 per cent of respondents saying they would feel comfortable telling a colleague that they have experienced conditions such as depression.

Chartered Psychologist Professor Gail Kinman said: "The mentally ill have the highest unemployment rates of any disabled group."

"The stigma attached to mental health problems clearly has a negative impact on job opportunities."

"In order to reduce this stigma, employers (and the workforce in general) need to be educated about mental health issues and how best to manage them."