11,000 Scots council staff signed off with stress

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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THOUSANDS of council staff have been signed off with stress or other mental health problems last year, local authorities have revealed.

Some 11,000 council staff were signed off in 2013/14 - up from 10,942 the previous year, figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show.

Over a quarter (2,943) were signed off for up to three months and over a tenth (1,250) off for up to six months.

The Lib Dems have urged Scottish public bodies and organisations to review their approach to mental health in light of the figures.

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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.”

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