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A recent review commissioned by the Government found that 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems lose their jobs each year. This is 50% higher than for those with physical health conditions. The researchers suggested that mental health is still a taboo subject in many workplaces and that there was often a lack of support and understanding in this area, and a lack of speedy access to mental health services.

People can often feel excluded at work if they have mental health issues and sometimes it is hard to spot those people, so they often do not get the support they need. The Government want employers to commit to 6 core standards around mental health, including greater awareness among employees, so that organisations can take more responsibility for the mental health of their staff. If the stigma shifts, mental health in the workplace will be easier to address and help can then be provided for those that need it.

Counselling can be very effective in giving people the confidential, safe and non-judgemental space in which to explore their work situation and environment, which of course is also impacted on by what else is going on in a person’s life: you cannot separate the two. Talking about how you are feeling can really help you to understand what is going on, and through deeper exploration a counsellor can help you to make effective changes, often very small ones, which can make work, and life, much better for you.

Most people who are off work for mental health reasons would much rather be well and back at work. The Leicester Counselling Centre has recently started providing counselling to members of Leicestershire Police Federation Trusts. LPFT are a great example of an organisation that really cares for the physical and mental wellbeing of staff.