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Friday, October 26, 2012

The Cost of Depression in the Workplace

Every year millions of Americans suffer from one type of mental illness or another. Mental illnesses are a serious matter and can greatly decrease one’s quality of life on a number of different levels. Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness that people suffer from, affecting millions of teenagers and adults in many different ways. Sadly, most cases of depression go untreated which affects both the patient and society greatly.

A new medical study has found that depression is at the top of the list of health-related productivity costs in the workplace. Apparently, it was that way before and after the economy tanked in the 2008 recession and it is still the same to this day

The Cost of Depression: An estimated $44 billion in lost productivity annually

Depression is a clinical diagnosis “with specific criteria, which severely impact a person’s ability to function.” It can thwart an employees’ ability to concentrate, be effective, and stay healthy enough to hold down a job, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

“Some companies will only tune into the effects of these strains when they experience negative outcomes like losing a customer or losing key talent,” says Clare Miller, Director of the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Foundation.

What Can Companies Do?

Fortunately, as society understands and becomes more accepting of mental illness, so too can we better combat and work with or around the problem to minimize the costs. The Partnership for Workplace Mental Health and Employers Health, an Ohio-based employer coalition, is joining forces on a project, designing a new workplace human resources toolkit. Such a toolkit will help employees to spot signs of depression and help decrease the stigma that comes with depression.

If you feel you might be struggling with depression, do not be discouraged - there is help out there...

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