Businesses told to employ people with mental illness | Northern Daily Leader

Fri Oct 25, 2013

A CHALLENGE has been issued to local businesses to consider employing more people living with a mental illness.

A Tamworth Business Chamber (TBC) meeting yesterday heard people living with a mental illness were often more loyal and had less sick days than other employees.

Mental illness support organisation Richmond PRA was invited to the meeting to discuss mental health in the workplace to more than 100 local business people.

Service manager for Richmond PRATamworth Jim Booth said the address, conducted by Richmond PRA chief executive officer Pam Rutledge canvassed a wide range of topics around mental illness in the workplace.

“We spoke about knowing what mental health signs to look out for in your colleagues,” Mr Booth said.

“We also threw down a challenge to business owners to consider employing a person with a lived experience of mental illness.

“It’s about destigmatising mental illness and we want them to look at including people who may have been excluded before and allow them to contribute in life.

“They can be very loyal employees and they tend to have less sick days because they know their limitations – they understand their mental illness.”

TBC president Tim Coates said businesses responded positively to themessage.

“Mental health in the workplace is a critical issue and it means many things,” Mr Coates said.

“It’s the ability to communicate with one another, to be tolerant and to understand when somebody is having a bad day.

“Finding that work-life balance also plays an important part.”

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