by Spectrum Wellness
10% is the proportion of the Irish population that suffers from depression at any given time.
In recent years, the discussion around mental health has increased and more people than ever before are bringing awareness to issues such as; anxiety, depression, stress and various mental disorders. However, despite all this, there remains a stigma around discussing mental health in the workplace. In this srticle, we aim to address depression and how it affects employees, along with explaining our top tips on assuaging it in your workplace.
Let’s Talk About Depression…
Depression is defined as, ”…a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies”. Its effects can last anywhere from 6 months and on, individuals can suffer from its symptoms once or for multiple prolonged periods of time. Due to its consistent and durable nature, depression is often referred to as the common cold of mental illness.
Discussing depression in the workplace can feel awkward and even daunting to some. In fact, 85% of the population agree that ‘’anyone can experience a mental health problem’’, but, 62% would not want others knowing if they themselves had a mental health problem. This means that more than half of the working population don’t feel comfortable sharing the mental health problems they face with their boss or colleagues.
The fact of the matter is that they’re afraid to speak up. And this fear stems from the following:
- The fear of judgement
- The fear of intolerance
- The fear of discrimination
- The fear of repercussions
- The fear of not being taken seriously
How depression is affecting your employees:
Commonly, stress and anxiety around home and work life eventually lead to depression in the workplace. Any type of mental health issue, including depression, will have a negative effect on your employees. Workers inflicted with depression face feeling fatigued, have difficulty concentrating, lose interest in their daily activities and have thoughts of death or suicide.
Not only are employees suffering, but they can cause negative consequences for your company if they’re not given the support they need. A few of the ways that depression impacts your office are as follows:
- Absenteeism and Presenteeism
- Decrease in Productivity
- Decrease in Performance
- Increase in Safety Risks
What you can do to help:
Promote an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)- An EAP Programme is a great resource for employees and can be extremely helpful in all aspects of their lives, including mental health.
Offer a Flexible Working Schedule- It can be difficult for depressed employees to get back into their old work schedule right away when returning to work. In order for them to feel less intimidated by the oncoming stressors of work, it would be better to allow them to ease back into the swing of things in the initial stages, if possible.
Open Discussion- Ensure that your employees understand that you are more than happy to hear them out if they have any concerns about their mental health. Keep yourself up to date with all the resources your employees can utilise in their time of need.
if you are interested in learning more about an Employee Assistance Programme please click here to download brochure