The Gibraltar General and Clerical Association (GGCA) has committed to focusing on mental health in the workplace and will lead on a campaign to help reduce the ‘stigma’ of it.
In a statement the GGCA explained that the campaign, which will be rolled-out over the following year, aims to not only reduce the stigma of mental health in the workplace but to make positive changes on how it is recognised and dealt with.
As a result it will be setting up a “Mental Health in the Workplace” working group to further these aims.
“We are also encouraging members to engage in the “Ask Twice” campaign by talking with colleagues and asking how they are feeling and providing a comfortable environment to talk,” read a statement from the association.
“Sometimes just knowing that someone cares and is willing to listen makes all the difference to those suffering with mental health issues,” it added.
The association said that in many ways, mental health is just like the physical health and we need to take care of it both in everyday life and in the workplace.
“When people go through a period of poor mental health they can find it impossible to manage their lives and carry out their duties and responsibilities at work. This can be as bad as a physical illness or worse.”
According to MIND charity, mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from diagnosis, such as anxiety and depression, perinatal depression, eating disorders, OCD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
“There is still a stigma attached to mental health disorders that are not attached to physical health problems and people may be ashamed of admitting that they are feeling that way. It may be difficult for managers or co-workers to spot the signs and give them support,” said the association statement.
“It is often the case that mental health issues first come to light on contact with a trade union, as many mental health sufferers experience problems at work with performance, absenteeism and punctuality in a disciplinary context and need recourse to their trade union. Mental health sufferers can also experience discrimination, including lack of opportunities in training, acting and promotion,” it added.