Many employers lack knowledge of mental health issues, it has been claimedSome workers suffering from mental health problems are not being treated with sufficient compassion and consideration by their employers, an expert has suggested.

Centre for Mental Health deputy chief executive Andy Bell explained that although being in employment can be a major boost to an employee's self-esteem, many people in senior positions simply lack suitable knowledge of mental health issues.

"If someone with depression is signed off work for a long period, it is often very hard for them to get back into the workplace," he said. "With depression, people don't know what the right thing to do is."

However, Mr Bell added that staying in work or returning as soon as possible after a bout of depression is more likely to assist the recovery process than staying away.

Bosses concerned about the management of workplace morale may wish to consider signing up for the Employee Wellbeing Forum 2010, which takes place in London's Smithfield next month.

Posted by Hayley Edwards