Research perspectives

MIND finds poor awareness of mental health disability in the workplace

A survey by the mental health charity MIND has found that more than two in five people with mental health conditions are unaware that this could be classed as a disability, and that they could therefore be missing out on legal protections or adjustments at work.

The survey, covering more than 1,700 people with mental health problems, found 44 per cent did not realise if their condition substantially affected their ability to carry out day-to-day activities, and if they have had the condition – or it is expected to last – for more than 12 months, they could be classed as having a disability. Once presented with the definition of a disability under the Equality Act 2010, over half of respondents felt they met the criteria.

In the light of these findings and the huge gap in awareness they reveal, MIND has called on the government to clarify what constitutes a disability to protect employees from discrimination in the first place, and if they are discriminated against on the grounds of a health condition, to enable them to challenge this.