Even in the current social climate, where conversations around mental health are growing and wellbeing is taking more of a spotlight, some people can still face mental health stigma at work.

But how can we change social attitudes and fight mental health stigma at work?

Dealing with mental ill-health in the workplace can be distressing and uncomfortable, even without stigmatised views. Stigma can amplify symptoms, make people less likely to reach out for help, and have a detrimental effect on recovery. So it’s vital that we are adequately prepared to support employees and colleagues through episodes of poor mental ill-health just like we are with any physical ailment. 

Examples of Mental Health Stigma At Work

Mental health stigma at work is a negative attitude towards or discrimination against someone, based on their mental health or mental illness. Some examples of everyday mental health stigmas at work could include:


    • Use of harmful stereotypes and language 

    • The idea that discussing our mental health is a sign of weakness

    • The idea that discussing our mental health is attention-seeking 

So, how exactly can we fight mental health stigma at work? What can we do to help change these social attitudes? Here are five ways to help fight mental health stigma at work.

1. Talk About Mental Health In The Workplace

Stigma works in a cycle. The fear of facing the consequences of stigma can keep people quiet about their experiences of mental ill health.This can lead to less understanding and, in turn, more stigma. The cycle goes on. 

To break the cycle, we can start to discuss mental health openly and honestly – if you feel comfortable doing so. You don’t have to become an online activist or share your life story with the world, but, should you want to, try to find the courage to discuss mental health if you want to. Talking about your own mental health journey also makes it easier for other people to come forward and feel like they can talk about theirs, too. This shared experience can also aid us in learning more about our own experiences.

2. Practice Non-Judgemental listening

Making a safe space to have mental health conversations can be mutually beneficial to you and others in the workplace. This can provide a support system and safe space for you to reach out. During these conversations, we need to practice non-judgmental listening. This means separating our own emotions from the situation when we are providing support to others. This also applies to yourself. If you are struggling with your mental health, try practicing being non-judgemental and compassionate towards yourself, too. 

3. Do Your Research

If there is anything you don’t understand about mental health, if you’re living with mental ill health or you’re supporting someone else with a mental illness, try to learn and research as much as you can. Although there may be a wealth of advice online, try to ensure you gather help and information from trusted organisations who specialise in mental health.

4. Call Stigma Out

If we don’t call stigma out when we hear it, we can’t fight it. This doesn’t mean aggression or arguments. But if you hear something that sounds like stigma, if you feel able, it’s okay to question the meaning. 

5. Train Your Workforce

Workplace wellbeing is a phrase that we all should have heard by now. But how are companies tackling mental health stigma in the workplace? One way you can tackle this as an employer is to offer your employees Mental Health First Aid training. Or if you are an employee that would benefit, why not suggest some Mental Health First Aid Training for your workplace? Employees who wish to learn more about mental health can become Mental Health First Aiders pr Mental Health Champions within your organisation. 

Fight Mental Health Stigma Today with Mental Health First Aid Training from Great Minds At Work.