Mental Health: Workplace Stigma

A response to Sofia Tindall’s article, about the stigma of mental health.


It’s a Friday morning and, keen to create a poem, I browse my news feed for some inspiration, only to be confronted with the revelation, courtesy of Sofia Tindall (journalist for Grazia) that the mental health stigma still exists!

A revelation?


I read on and am told that mental health awareness has improved since Britney’s breakdown in 2007, but that, as a society, we have still not come far enough.  The solution to this, it seems, is to sign up for a petition demanding the provision of ‘mental-health first aiders’ in the workplace.

Immediately, I see an issue:

Why the petition?

One brief mention, will surely be all that is required!


In which case, does the following entry in the ‘Diary of a Boss’ (by Jay Cool) ring any bells?


‘Today, I received an email from Ted, requesting the provision of a mental-health first aider for the office staff. This is a fantastic idea. Not only will it support our company’s application for the workplace well-being award, it will also prove invaluable in helping to identify candidates for our next staff cull.

First on my list – Ted!

Ted’s on a high wage and, judging by his priorities, is well on his way to a breakdown. We must be rid of him before that happens. In, the current economic climate, we can’t afford to pay sick leave, and we’re hardly short of younger-cheaper job applicants. 

But, first things first.

Must get that ‘first-aider’ in!

Value for money, or what? We can keep track of which employees make use of the drop-in facility and pre-empt any problems. None of the culled staff will have any comeback. After all, as a caring employer, didn’t the company provide a mental-health first aider?’


I rest my case.

And yes Sofia, you are, I believe, spot on with your observations. But, in accepting invitations to talk about our mental health problems, courtesy of our caring employers, are us underlings being lulled into a false sense of security?

As for the poem that I was going to write? I have the title, ‘Stigmental‘, and I’m getting onto it!

Mission accomplished.

Copyright owned by Jay Cool, 2019

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Published by The Silly-Savvy Salopian

Freelance writer and descendant of the cave dweller and outlaw, Humphrey Kynaston. Banished from Shropshire for my eccentricity, I have made my home in Suffolk. I write poetry, short stories, travel journals, comedy gig reviews and non-fiction articles. My wish is to write my way back into the heart of my birth land. All writing commissions (and free holidays in Shropshire!) considered.

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