MINISTERS are being urged to step up the campaign to stamp out discrimination suffered by people with mental health issues after new research which reveals that most still feel stigmatised when hunting for work.
The research was published by the CentreForum Mental Health Commission, an expert panel established last year to review standards in care and monitor the Government’s mental health strategy.
It reveals six out of 10 people with mental health problems still feel unfairly treated when looking for a job, almost a year after the historic Mental Health (Discrimination) Act became law.
Three quarters say they have even stopped themselves from applying for certain jobs for fear of how potential employers might respond to their condition.
Six out of 10 said they were concerned about what workmates might say if their condition became known.
The anti-discrimination legislation that became law last February, removing barriers to those with serious mental health problems serving on juries or becoming MPs, was introduced by Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell.
He told the Sunday Express: “There is still a long way to go and the answers are not just to be found in legislation. It requires a whole change in society and some leadership shown within the business community.
“We need to see a change in attitudes from those conducting interview processes and also those with mental health issues need to feel more confident to talk about it.”
Former Care Minister Paul Burstow, who is chairman of the CentreForum Mental Health Commission, said: “People living with severe and enduring mental illness get a raw deal. Many more people want to work than do. The jobs gap can be tackled with practical help.”