Edinburgh is first Council to "see me"

The City of Edinburgh Council is the first Scottish local authority to sign a pledge to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination at work.

See Me
John Sawkins, volunteer for See Me; Judith Robertson, programme director for See Me; Councillor Ricky Henderson; David Lewis, managing director of Lewis Creative.

The See Me in Work scheme was launched today at Edinburgh's City Chambers by See Me, a national programme which aims to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

The Council, along with a number of other employers, including Edinburgh agency Lewis Creative and Network Rail, has been working with See Me to develop the programme.

See Me in Work is aiming to engage with employers and support them in making changes to their work practices, to improve the working lives of employees with mental health problems.

It will encourage an equal and fair recruitment process and ensure those returning to work following ill-health are fully supported.

The announcement comes as new figures reveal that 48% of Scottish workers claim they would be unlikely to tell employers about mental health problems for fear of losing their job.

Of the 1,165 people surveyed, 55% also said that people would be unlikely to disclose a mental illness as it could result in being passed over for promotion, or moved to another post.

The poll, carried out by YouGov, discovered that only 22% of people think their co-workers have a good understanding of the importance of employee mental health.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health, Social Care and Housing Convener, said: "The Council is delighted to continue to support the See Me programme and the excellent work that it is doing for employees. One in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives.

"It's imperative that our workforce is happy and healthy, both physically and mentally, and it is our duty to make sure that they know they can be confident that there will be support at work if they are experiencing issues. This in turn helps us to deliver the best service possible.

"We'll continue to support the See Me programme and to help employees, service users and the wider community if our support is needed."

Judith Robertson from See Me said: "Stigma and discrimination in the workplace is a major issue. These new figures show that there is a significant problem with people being able to speak openly about mental health.

"Employers have a legal and moral responsibility to look after the health and well-being of everyone who works for them and it is important to know how staff are being treated.

"We are delighted to have these organisations work with us in leading the way in tackling mental health stigma."

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