Innovative Mental Skillness program challenges the stigma around mental health at work

Collaborative partnership showcases the skills that people living with mental illness bring to their jobs

Skillness ambassador Kimberley Burrell shared her personal story of navigating mental health in the workplace during a celebration of the Skillness campaign in Hornsby.

Speaking at the official launch presented by Primary & Community Care Services (PCCS) at the Skillness Hub in Westfield Hornsby, Kimberley – who lives with anxiety and depression – told the audience how she was taken off projects for fear she wouldn’t cope and was asked by a senior manager if she was ‘cured’.

From left; PCCS CEO, Dr J.R. Baker; Hornsby Shire Mayor, the honourable Phillip Ruddock; Skillness Ambassador, Kimberley Burrell and NSW Mental Health Commission Deputy Commissioner

“I don’t believe any of this was done with malice; I just think it came down to a lack of understanding. In a fast-paced corporate environment, it can be easy for the mental health of your employees to slip down the priority list,” she explained.

“We spend a huge amount of time working so it’s crucial that our work space is safe and healthy. People should be able to feel accepted in their workplace. Mental illness is not a burden. When given the chance, we will thrive.”

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