Chronic depression is a serious health problem that many people deal with on an everyday basis. The good news is that we understand depression better today than ever. Terms like ‘bipolar’ and “clinically depressed” are familiar to most everyone and there are treatments helping many people totally change their outlook on life.
However, we’re still not completely enlightened when it comes to putting this serious medical condition into the context of work. A stigma still exists around clinical depression and employees must navigate their own workplace carefully.
Writing for The Huffington Post, Anne Harding points out that there is no clear right or wrong way of dealing with the issues of depression in the workplace:
Some workplaces are more tolerant and progressive than others.
Employers are increasingly aware that promoting employee mental health is good for business… A happy employee is more productive, so it makes sense for employers to help people in need of services to find those services. Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among adults 15 to 44 years old, affecting nearly 7 percent of adults in the U.S. each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And depression causes an estimated $23 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
But that doesn’t mean you should expect your employer to commiserate or bend over backward to help you. Even at the most supportive companies, navigating mental health benefits can be tricky.
The startling statistics on lost productivity alone, should make both employers and employees address this issue and begin treating depression for what it is: a serios illness with treatment and even cures. The results could be happier lives and that’s good business. Read the full article here.