Scottish Liberal Democrats have urged bodies across Scotland to review their approach to mental ill health after revealing that over 11,000 council staff have been signed off with stress and other mental health problems in the past year.
The figures, obtained through Freedom of Information requests, show that the majority of staff are signed off for a period of under one month. In 2013/14, 2943 local authority staff were signed off between one to three months and 1250 for a period of between three and six months.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have been leading calls for mental health and physical health issues to be treated equally.
Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson said:
“Our figures give some context to the real scale of mental health issues in Scotland. Behind these numbers are the personal stories of the 11,000 local authority staff who are unable to go to work because of their mental health problems.
“Each of these people needs support from professionals, loved ones and from their place of work. That is why it is so important that the Scottish Government works with everyone it can to take down the walls of stigma that surround mental health issues.
“Whilst the majority of those staff were signed off for a period under a month, a great number were unable to work for periods of up to half a year. Workplaces have a role to play in supporting their staff through what can often be a stressful experience of taking sick leave. In light of these figures I hope that public bodies and organisations across Scotland can work with charities to review their approach to mental ill health.”