Nearly two-thirds of adults in the UK would keep schizophrenia hidden from their employers if they were diagnosed, states a survey published by mental health charity, Rethink Mental Illness.
The online YouGov poll of more than 2,000 adults also found that 26 per cent of respondents wouldn't tell friends and 77 per cent would not tell a neighbour if they were diagnosed. However over three-quarters said that they would tell their family.
The Would You Tell? report features in-depth interviews with a wide range of people who have been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia or psychosis. It explores the dilemmas people face in revealing their diagnosis, and the hostility and discrimination that they can often face as a result.
Rethink Mental Illness is now calling for companies to do more to prevent discrimination. Even though some people with schizophrenia will be unable to work, this is no different to any serious physical illness. Most people with schizophrenia are able to continue working.
Rethink Mental Illness has published the report to mark the first ever Schizophrenia Awareness Week (11-18 November), which aims to raise awareness of schizophrenia.
Paul Jenkins, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness, said: ‘Schizophrenia is still one of the most stigmatised and feared illnesses in the UK, so it's no surprise that people would be reluctant to tell others if they had it.
‘This needs to change. Schizophrenia shouldn't feel like a life sentence, and you can recover. But when people feel that they can't talk openly about their condition, they are often left marginalised and don't get the support they need.
‘That's why we're releasing this report as part of the first ever Schizophrenia Awareness Week. We need to break down the ignorance and myths around the condition, so that people with schizophrenia can reach out to others without fear of being shunned or ostracised.'
The full report can be found here: http://www.rethink.org/get-involved/stand-up-for-schizophrenia