Research shows that 1 in 4 people experience a mental health condition in any given year. In the last few years there has been more publicity and a rise in awareness of mental health thanks in part to more celebrities sharing their stories and more media coverage generally. We also have the Equality Act 2010 which gives rights to disabled people and those with long term health conditions against discrimination both in the recruitment process and also at work. However, despite this legislation and this rise in in mental health awareness we often see many students with concerns that employers may still discriminate against them if they disclose their condition. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we thought it would be good to highlight some organisations who are not paying lip service to supporting disabled employees but actually setting up networks and support to give every opportunity for all employees to fulfil their potential in an inclusive environment. Many of these networks aim to create conversations and raise awareness of mental health issues to all staff who could themselves be affected by mental health in the future. Here we take a look at some of the initiatives currently happening with some of the large graduate recruiters.
Accenture are one company committed to supporting employees with mental health conditions and has set up a Mental Health Allies. Here is what they say about their scheme
“The MHAP was designed to destigmatise mental health through culture change, increased knowledge and awareness. It is comprised of allies, advocates and ambassadors carrying the messages about mental resilience, mindfulness, openness, support and culture to every corner of our business in the UK. To become an ally, any employee can attend a 3-hour interactive training workshop covering signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions, gender differences within these, how to have confident conversations and emphasise the support and resources available to employees and their families. The programme launched in the UK (with a global rollout planned) currently has over 550 employees from Managing Directors through to Interns pledged to create a safe environment for anyone with mental health issues.”
Other organisations are also committed to supporting those with mental health conditions. Read about Thames Water and WH Smith for some further examples. https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/case-study/
If you are looking for an inclusive employer that will support you and encourage you to achieve your potential then look out for employers that are:
- Signed up to be a Disability Confident Employer: The Disability Confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives. Employers can register and sign up to it. You can view a list of those that have signed up to the scheme on the Government website.
- Signed up to the Mindful Employer Charter http://www.mindfulemployer.net/charter/ which demonstrates an employer's commitment to being positive about mental health. Signatories pledge to show an "enabling attitude" to job applicants with mental health issues and to ensure that staff involved in the recruitment process are given appropriate interview skills. Since MINDFUL EMPLOYER was launched in 2004, over 2,000 organisations have been a signatory to the Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health. Check out the list of employers on the website.
So it’s good to know as Accenture state “that there are organisations out there focused on ensuring all individuals with a mental (and equally a physical condition) can thrive in a supportive workplace where conversation is open, action is present and success is possible.”
If you would like further information on mental health at work check out https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/organisation/mind/
For further information on support and advice check out https://www.mind.org.uk/If you would like to talk about disclosure or requesting reasonable adjustments when applying for internships/placements or graduate jobs and have some concerns about disclosure then do contact Careers Service on 01225 386009 to book an appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org