Attitudes to Mental Illness
The Department of Health has published this year’s survey on Attitudes to Mental Illness. On the whole the news is moderately encouraging. There’s been an improvement in attitudes, with the number of people agreeing that “mental illness is an illness like any other” rising from 71% in 1994 to 77% in 2011.
But this is slow progress, and there are still a significant minority of evil bastards people who have yet to be educated on the issue:
- 16% say that one of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and will-power.
- 17% say that locating mental health facilities in a residential area downgrades the neighbourhood.
So it is no surprise that 43% would feel ‘uncomfortable’ talking to their employer about their mental health. This is down from 50% last year, but it’s still a very high figure. And it is a figure that the government should remember next time they’re tempted to tighten up the eligibility test for disability benefits to make it even harder for people with mental illnesses to qualify.