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  1. ITV Report

9 out of 10 people with mental health problems 'discriminated at work'

Denise Martin believes she is being discriminated against at work because she is bipolar Credit: ITV News

If you are ill at work - would you expect to be discriminated against by your colleagues? Hopefully not. But research by the Mental Health Foundation has found that nine out of ten people with mental health problems say they have experienced some kind of discrimination.

9/10
People with mental health problems say they have been discriminated against

Denise Martin who suffers from bipolar disorder believes the problem is so bad, many people are hiding their illnesses because they fear it means they won't work at all.

She believes she should be open about her illness. This is her talking with her son about her condition in a video for the campaign Time to Change.

Denise fears her openness could be working against her when it comes to getting a job. Having recently moved to Bristol she is looking for work as a mental health nurse. She has just had a job offer withdrawn on the grounds of health.

I still think, mention bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosis - any of the severe mental illnesses - people are just frightened. I want a job, I'm able to do a job but I guess people are ignorant.

– Denise Martin
56%
Adults in the UK will not employ someone with depression

A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation showed that 56% of adults in the UK wouldn't employ somebody with depression even if they thought they were the right person for the job.

EY makes a point of encouraging workers to talk about mental health matters Credit: ITV News

Some companies are working hard to reduce the stigma. The accountancy firm EY, formerly known as Ernst and Young, runs a campaign encouraging employees to speak about mental health. They've also trained staff as mental health first aiders.

The topic is discussed at all levels. We have a lot of partners that are very vocal about their personal experiences, making it seem an okay topic to talk about in the workplace.

– Rose Coville, Manager, EY

But while Denise welcomes this she believes much more needs to be done.

"It needs to change. People need to talk. The more people that talk, the more people that have awareness, it's going to reduce the stigma and make it easier for people to say 'actually I've got bipolar but I'm all right, I'm doing the best I can, give me a chance".

She says she will continue to look for a job. She just hopes she and others in her position will be given that chance soon.

A number of organisations can help: