Barriers to tackling mental health issues | Letters

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Sharing your experiences with colleagues can be freeing or detrimental, warns one anonymous writer. Headteacher Eileen Sheerin responds to the news that children who need help with mental health face a postcode lottery

While I agree with the idea that it is helpful to be able to talk to managers and colleagues if you have mental health issues (It can be a wonderful freeing moment, G2, 8 April) it very much depends on the attitudes of those you work with as to the outcome.

I tried to lessen the stigma around these issues by sharing some of my difficulties with colleagues in an appropriate way, but when I was open with the CEO of the small company where I had worked for over 10 years, I came to regret it. My difficulties were seen as personal weaknesses, I was not paid for time taken for mental health treatments (despite appointments for medical treatments for other staff being taken as paid time off), and I was not supported in any way. This was despite the relevant staff member being a qualified psychologist.

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