Given the recent high-profile campaign by ReThink, I was saddened, disappointed and perhaps even slightly disgusted to read an article in management today that demonstrates - with textbook accuracy - the prejudice and stigma towards mental health issues that still exist today. It's not clear whether it is the result of ignorance or arrogance on the part of the author, in an attempt to be humourous - but for me, it doesn't work. It's embarassing. It's a publication that you think could do better.
The article is a commentary on a BT Tradespace survey that suggests Stephen Fry would be the small businesses' dream employee. Unfortunately Management Today doesn't show the same insight and understanding as those small business, as it goes on to say:
But Fry has managed to trump them all, and by some distance too. Our only alarm is that – judging by his much-publicised walk-out from the West End a few years ago – he doesn’t have a great track record for dealing with pressure.
False Alarm. Whatever judgement is being exercised here, it is wrong. Fry's "much-publicised walk-out" was not a failure to deal with pressure - but by his own frank and moving admission, a result of a deeply dark period manifesting from his bi-polar disorder. Bi-polar is an illness, a malfunction - like a broken leg - not a character weakness, as the author implies. Hey, but never let the facts get in the way of a good story?
In fact, anyone following Fry's life in detail through his twitter "tweets" will be staggered at the man's ability to cram twice as much as the rest of us into his day - not only responding to the thousands of followers who "tweet" to him daily, but jet-setting left, right and centre between TV sets, riding stubborn mules up mexican mountains, amidst writing and recording and everything else he does. The man is an inspiration.
Thankfully UK small businesses seem to recognise this - while the hand that feeds them - Management Today - should know better.