Anyone suffering from depression or any other mental illness knows that keeping it secret makes it even harder to endure. Heidi Duvenage, the head of recruitment agency Sage Talent Solutions, says many companies in South Africa are not supportive for two reasons: "First, mental illness is still largely misunderstood and organisations don't know how to deal with it. Second, people ... with a mental illness are reluctant to disclose this for fear of discrimination ... or awkward relationships with colleagues." She has this advice for employers: lMost people battling mental illness can function as well as anyone else - if the condition is managed properly and there is a nurturing work environment; lWiden the focus of employee wellness programmes to include mental health. This puts the issue on the agenda and reduces the stigma attached to it; lCreate a supportive environment by having conversations that create awareness in your team; lStress makes mental illnesses even worse, so consid...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now