Does mental illness still carry a stigma for employers?

In a previous post we discussed the report that indicated that 38% of events professionals suffer with mental health issues (and I still believe it’s much higher than that) which is a massive issue for the industry. Within the past week a contact has been signed off work with extreme anxiety and is determined that his employer doesn’t find out the real reason he is off sick. In his words, “you can’t have that kind of weakness in sales!”

Do mental health issues still carry a stigma in the workplace and count against you? Does it affect your career prospects? How do we address that? Should the industry be addressing that or is it for each individual to manage their own mental health?

I can totally appreciate how he feels, but I think, such is the prevalence of mental health issues, that there is far greater compassion and understanding if you are brave enough to speak up. I know so many people struggling with mental health - I don’t know if thats reflective or unusually high, but most of us must know someone who has experienced depression or anxiety or perhaps has an undiagnosed personality disorder (if not having experienced something themselves).
A former colleague of mine was battling depression and an eating disorder and had the courage to make it known at work. The result was the we all rallied round to support her.

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