Recruitment and mental health

The Trust is committed to equality of opportunity for all and will not discriminate on the grounds of any ill health, and that includes mental ill health.

We have a positive attitude towards employing staff who have experienced mental ill health or who have current mental health needs. We recognise such experience in our staff may be an asset in offering a service which is sensitive to the needs of the people we serve. Our staff and potential employees are encouraged to be open about their mental health needs so we can offer the right support.

To show our commitment to equality the Trust supports the NHS Employers Open Your Mind campaign . The campaign has been developed to support employers to create a better working environment for staff and improve employment rates for people with mild, moderate and severe mental health conditions. It aims to raise awareness throughout the NHS of the recognised benefits to patients, staff and organisations of employing and retaining staff with mental health conditions.

To show our commitment to ending the stigma surrounding mental health, the Trust is proud to have signed the Time to Change organisational pledge. The pledge was signed by the Trust’s chairman, Ian Black and demonstrates to people who use our services, staff, Trust members and the local community that we are leading the way in addressing discrimination associated with mental health.

If you are considering applying for a post with the Trust, experience of mental health problems will not prevent you being considered from the selection process, providing you fulfill the relevant criteria.

You can be confident we will support your mental health needs, not only those that you may have at the moment but also any future mental health needs you may have during your employment with us.

If you would like to discuss this further, in confidence, please contact any member of our recruitment team.

You can also read our disability equality scheme.

Will I be discriminated against because I have had a mental health problem?

No, it will not affect your job application in any way. The Equality Act 2010  means that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the grounds of disability – including mental health – throughout the recruitment process. This includes recruitment and selection, during employment and termination of employment.

We encourage people to confidentially disclose past or current experience of mental health problems. This helps us to make reasonable adjustments in the working environment if you have any special requirement and provide you with the right support in the job.

We have been awarded the Two Tick Disability symbol which means if you have had a mental illness for the last 12 months, we will guarantee you an interview if you meet the relevant criteria.

We are also a Mindful Employer.

Mental health employment facts

There are some surprising and startling facts about mental health and employment. These facts and figures deliver a picture of why employers need to focus on protecting their staff’s mental health while exploring strategies and initiatives to employ more people with conditions.

  • Three out of every 10 employees will experience some form of mental health problem in any year (Mind, 2005; WHO 2000)
  • Stress, depression and anxiety are estimated to cost more lost days than any other work-related illnesses. 80m work days are lost annually (CBI, 2008)
  • On average sick time for NHS staff is 10.7 days per year – more than the average of the workforce as a whole and the wider public sector (DH, 2009)
  • The estimated cost of lost employment due to mental health problems in the UK is £26bn (KF 2008)
  • At least one person in six becomes depressed at some point in their lives; one in twenty develops clinical depression (Mind, 2009)
  • The cost of mental health problems is 5% of UK GDP (Sainsbury Centre, 2003)
  • Ill health retirement costs the NHS approx £150m a year (NHSE, 2008)
  • Approximately one third of people in the UK claiming incapacity benefit do so due to mental health problems (Mental Health Foundation, 2009)
  • 90% of people with mental health problems say they want to work; 20% of people with severe mental illness are in work compared to 65% of people with physical health problems and 75% of the total adult population (IPPR, 2004)
  • 40% of people with psychiatric problems say they were denied a job because of their illness (Mental Health Foundation, 2006)
  • One third of all employers believe people with mental illnesses are less reliable than others; 38 % say they would not employ someone with a mental health problem (Shaw Trust, 2006)
  • 47% of people with mental health problems say they have experienced discrimination at work (Mental Health Foundation, 2006)
  • Sickness absence costs 10million days per year in the NHS – equivalent to 4.5% of the workforce (NHSE, 2009)