Schizophrenia Sufferers’ ‘Job Fears’

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Nearly two-thirds of adults in the UK would keep schizophrenia hidden from their employer if they were diagnosed, a survey suggests.

The research, published by the charity Rethink Mental Illness, claims only 35% of people would be open with their boss if they had the illness.

The online YouGov poll of more than 2,000 adults also says one in four (26%) of people wouldn’t tell a friend.

More than three-quarters (77%) would not tell a neighbour, the charity says.

Business group, the CBI, admits more needs to be done by employers to improve conditions for staff with mental health problems.

Jazmin Chatelier started to suffer from schizophrenia when she was aged 22.

“I started hearing voices and first they were indistinct like chatter in the distance, and then they started talking directly to me,” she said.

Jazmin says initially she felt unable to tell anyone about what she was going through. When she finally did, their reactions were often difficult to take.

“A lot of people just called me an attention-seeker, they did not understand what I was going through, and they thought I was making it up,” she said.

“There was a point when I started wearing a hands-free kit so it looked like I wasn’t crazy. So I would be talking to these voices like I was on the phone.”

by Anthony Baxter, BBC

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