December 8, 2019

Are bad bosses making us mentally ill?

Robbie Handy, 42

In 2018/19, the HSE says 12.8 million working days were lost to work related stress, and stress depression and anxiety accounted for 44% of all workplace ill health. Prevalence of work related stress is highest in the broad industry category of public administration, with 2500 cases per 100,000 workers. The General Practitioners Network THOR-GP 2013-15 analysis of events precipitating workplace mental ill health cases identified that interpersonal relationships were the predominant factor in 26% of cases. A 2019 Totaljobs survey says 49% of workers have left jobs because of a poor relationship with their boss and 39% of managers say they’ve had no management training. Inept managers, who lack the emotional intelligence and formal leadership training necessary for their roles, could be making many of us sick and costing us billions. When you become clinically stressed at work, it damages your relationships with those you love as well as your health, and crushes your confidence so that it takes years to recover. This short story explores what it feels like when a bad boss is making you mentally ill and asks why society seems to tolerate psychologically dangerous workplaces.

Integrity, 2019Writing