Life without stigma at work

Life without stigma means we all get to live it. It's time for change.

Work can be an important part of both supporting our mental health in daily life and recovering from mental health difficulties if we experience them.

Life without stigma means we all get to live it. It's time for change.

Many of us may have experienced changes in our work lives of late, including reduced hours or job loss, or working from home for the first time. For essential services and frontline workers, recent months may have been exceptionally stressful.

Over the coming weeks and months, as some of these work challenges hopefully improve, let’s leave stigma and discrimination behind.

Work without mental health stigma would mean:

  • Our workplaces are inclusive and supportive environments
  • We all experience equal opportunities for employment and for progressing at work
  • We all get access to available support in the workplace if we need it
  • We can let others know if we are struggling
  • We don’t delay in looking after our mental health.

Stigma can arise because of lack of awareness and understanding about mental health, and can affect how people treat each other in work-life. Things are improving, but people with mental health difficulties in Ireland still experience stigma and discrimination in the work-place.

You can find more information and resources on tackling stigma in the workplace from SeeChange, the national partnership to end mental health stigma.

If you are an employer, this leaflet with information about equality and mental health in the workplace may be helpful.

Your rights

We all have the right to work without experiencing stigma and discrimination.

Your rights

We are all protected from mental health discrimination at work under national laws. You can find more information about the main employment equality law – the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 – on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) website. 

IHREC have produced a guide to your rights if you are discriminated against in the workplace or in seeking work. 

If you have an ongoing mental health issue, you have the right to access accommodations, or ‘appropriate measures’, at work, once this doesn’t result in an unreasonable burden for your employer. This might mean helpful changes to your work environment or work schedule, for example.


Why does this matter?

There's more awareness of mental health than ever, and we're getting closer to ending mental health discrimination - but there's still some way to go. Now is the time to take action so that everyone can truly enjoy a future with no stigma.

Why does this matter?

  • Six in ten of us would be okay explaining to our bosses that we need time off work due to a mental health difficulty; let's make sure that all of us would feel safe and protected to do this.
  • One in ten of us have personally experienced or had a family member experience discrimination at work due to mental health difficulties: let’s make sure we can all fully realise our right to work free from discrimination.

You can be a part of this: help us build our voice to change our attitudes and behaviours around mental health once and for all.

These figures come from our Annual Stigma and Attitudes Survey 2020.


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Life without stigma at home