Mental health stigma in workplace stops employees from getting help

Education needed to see mental illness in same light as other disorders
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/29/2010

Despite a better understanding in workplaces about mental illness, there is still a perception employees with mental health conditions aren’t pulling their weight, according to David Goldbloom, the senior medical advisor of education and public affairs at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

This stigma, which sees people with a mental illness as a drag on the system, doesn’t exist for employees who have a physical illness, said Goldbloom, who attended the fifth annual Mental Health in the Workplace Forum organized by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business in October.

“Stigma compounds suffering. For somebody who has a mental illness, in addition to the symptoms of the illness itself that they have to contend with, they also have to contend with the negative attitudes of other people toward them when they’re already feeling badly,” said Goldbloom.