201611.09
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Mental health emerges as a work problem

Daniel Pearson returned to work at EY, the professional services firm, after taking time off to deal with mental health problems and felt “absolutely terrified” of colleagues’ attitudes to his illness and the uncertainty of how to deal with questions about his absence. Yet there was one person who made a difference, helping ease his re-entry to the workplace: his “buddy”.

This was a colleague who had experienced something similar. “He came to meet me with a big smile,” recalls Pearson. “It was so massively powerful not to feel alone when going through this.” The person was there as part of an EY scheme enabling informal conversations and advice. Subsequently, Pearson has acted, too, as a friend to others who have struggled with mental health. “I’m happy,” he says. “The world has moved on a lot. Attitudes are changing.”

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