People who have a psychiatric diagnosis face labor discrimination, the central theme of the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day that this year addresses mental illness from the workplace, as the specialist Dunia Pintado told Efe today.
“If you present yourself with a psychiatric diagnosis and you are really honest in the interview (work), they will never hire you,” said the president of the civil association Voz Pro Mental Health of Mexico City.
Not only that, Pintado commented that people who suffer from a disorder and during their workday suffer a crisis that leads to the recognition of the disease, this would be a reason for dismissal.
“Companies do not yet take into account the part of work in psychosocial disability,” argued the psychotherapist.
This is due, according to the expert, that the idea of entrepreneurs is still the business and “do not think that mental health is very important for people who are working.”
“The thing is to show them the importance of all of them (the workers) to be socially responsible and inclusive companies,” he proposed.
According to figures from the World Federation of Mental Health (FMSM), 80% of people with a psychiatric illness are unemployed even though 70% want to work.
Painted exposes a crude reality to relate the day to day of these people who feel marked and injured at work because they are the focus of mockery and negative attitudes on the part of their peers.
This causes them much insecurity and stress, and manages to reduce their self-esteem. “It gives them more stress to fulfill their work obligations,” said the mental health specialist.
The attitude of the workers obeys ignorance, as they are unaware of “the damage they may be doing.”
The problem turns into a vicious circle in which confidence, initiative and work skills are slowly diminished, leading to even more ridicule.
Pintado asks that it be understood that many of these people “can work with their treatment perfectly” and that there are different stages in mental disorders, many of them harmless in the work environment.
The most common mental problems in these marginalized workers are usually schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, the latter being one of the most common causes of absenteeism at work.
“They are people with integral treatment can be perfectly working,” added the expert.
He also proposed to curb this discrimination by imparting “psychoeducation workshops to those who request it, but also to relatives and patients” so that they become more aware of their disorder and the difficulties involved.
In Mexico, the latest version of the National Survey of Psychiatric Epidemiology, published by the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, indicates that 28.6% of the population has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, which would suppress almost the third part of the population of working age.
Voice Pro Mental Health is part of a network of non-profit citizen organizations made up of family members, users and professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with a mental disorder, as well as that of their family and friends.