When it comes to mental health, people are still too scared to take days off work, even when they think they need to.
A survey of over 4,700 people revealed that 44% have felt the need to take time out of work, school, or university due to a mental health problem during the pandemic – but only 17% actually did so.
The new figures, released for Time to Talk Day today, show that mental health is still taboo when it comes to calling in sick.
When asked why, 27% said they were too embarrassed; 25% said they worried they would be judged; and 24% said they thought it would risk their future prospects, for instance losing their job.
The theme for Time to Talk Day, which was established eight years ago, is ‘The Power of Small’, aiming to showcase the big difference these seemingly small conversations or gestures can make.
The survey showed that for those who have struggled with their mental health during the pandemic, a colleague, friend or family member reaching out for a chat made a difference.
42% said hearing from a familiar face made them feel reassured they weren’t alone; 32% said they were comforted that there was someone to listen; and 28% said it made them feel they could seek help.
Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change, said ‘We know that attitudes towards those of us with mental health problems have improved in recent years and it’s important that we don’t let that slide.
‘The last year has been hard and it’s perhaps made more people realise that we can all struggle with our mental health at times. Let’s take this opportunity to ensure that we all feel comfortable talking about it, too.
‘It’s easy to think we haven’t got the power to make a change. But lots of ‘small’ conversations can add up to a big difference in tackling the stigma and discrimination too many people still experience because of their mental health. So, this Time to Talk Day, play your part – send a text, reach out, have a conversation.’
Due to the restrictions this year, Time to Change has created a virtual festival; a line-up of free online events taking place throughout the day to encourage and inspire conversations about mental health.
To talk about mental health in an open, judgement-free space, join Metro.co.uk’s Facebook group, Mentally Yours.
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