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Workers seeking mental health care still face stigma, survey finds

Photo: NickyLloyd/iStockphoto

New York — Nearly 3 out of 5 U.S. workers say a stigma around seeking help for a mental health issue still exists in workplaces, results of a recent survey show.

Commissioned by online behavioral health care provider Learn to Live, researchers from marketing research company OnePoll surveyed 2,000 U.S. adult workers to gather their opinions on mental health care in relation to work. Results show that 57% of the respondents agree that a negative attitude toward taking time off work for mental health reasons exists in their workplace.

In addition, 62% of the respondents said their boss would judge them if they requested time off for mental health care. As a result, 54% said mental health issues aren’t a good enough reason to call off from work.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to 57% of the respondents paying more attention to their mental health. Other key findings:

  • 7 out of 10 participants said they prefer to take off an entire day, rather than a few hours, to avoid having to tell their supervisor why they’re taking time off.
  • Two-thirds prefer to keep their mental health care needs vague while talking with supervisors by saying they have “an appointment.”
  • 56% believe their employer would think they’re unable to perform their job if they request time off for mental health care.

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