Learn how you can be mentally healthy at work, with suggestions for what you can do and where you can get support if you experience poor mental health.
Many people find that working is good for their mental health. A job can help you look after your mental health by providing:
"We work closely together as a team and being part of that gives me a sense of self-worth and builds my self-esteem."
At times your work may be affected by your mental health problem. For example, if you are experiencing depression, you might feel so tired that you are unable to work.
But with support from your employer, you can make some changes to help manage and improve your mental health at work.
If work is having a negative effect on your mental health, try to figure out what is causing this. It could be:
"I was proud of my ability to keep my anxiety hidden from my colleagues and saw it as a sign of strength. Until the day it became impossible."
Whether you have a mental health problem or not, your employer has a duty of care to you under health and safety legislation. You have the right to work somewhere safe. This means where any risks to your health are properly assessed and controlled.
For more information, visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
You might be unemployed as a result of your mental health problem, or for reasons which don't involve your mental health. Some reasons could be:
When looking for a new job, it can take time to find a suitable role, write applications and prepare for interviews. This can feel very challenging.
You might also find that being unemployed affects your confidence. It can feel disappointing if employers don't get back to you. See our pages on wellbeing and increasing your self-esteem for ways to look after yourself.
"I was unemployed for quite a few years after being made redundant from my role at another organisation. I went into a very bad state of mind."
If you have a mental health problem, you may sometimes face barriers to finding employment. The following organisations can support you:
If you're not well enough to work, there are still ways of getting the benefits of having a job. You can meet new people, gain skills and contribute to a community. If you feel able to, you could consider the following activities:
Sometimes you might even need to take a break from work for your mental health. Read more about taking time off for mental health.
This information was published in December 2020. We will revise it in 2023.
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