National Schizophrenia Awareness Day
25th July 2022 is National Schizophrenia Awareness Day, a national, annual campaign that aims to educate people on the realities of living with schizophrenia and to provide support to those affected.
The statistics show that at any time there are around 220,000 people in the UK living with schizophrenia and some of your employees could be included in this figure. Schizophrenia will often be classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 so must be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.
How can you help as an employer?
Recognising the signs – Although schizophrenia affects people in different ways, there are some recognised signs and symptoms employers can look out for. For example, hallucinations; seeing, hearing, or smelling something that does not exist as if it were real. Or holding false or unusual beliefs that are unshakable. Discuss with the employee how their schizophrenia affects them so you can identify any triggers and agree the actions to be taken if the signs become apparent while at work.
Creating a supportive environment – Employers should always provide a workplace that is inclusive and supportive. A workplace that promotes a positive company culture that champions open lines of communication, and is free of judgement, is even more important when employees are living with often debilitating conditions.
Educate your staff – Make training and other reliable resources on mental health readily available to all staff. Make everyone aware of organisations such as Mind and explain how they can help. Be flexible – As an employer you have a duty of care to make reasonable adjustments to support employees with mental health issues. This could include adjusting their working hours or locations, and allowing time off to manage periods of illness and attend appointments.
For more information on mental health issues in the workplace and how you can support your employees check out this CIPD resource: Mental health factsheet