- Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of U.S. respondents indicated they have been diagnosed with depression in their lifetime
- Two in five (nearly 40 percent) of those patients reported taking time off of work – an average of 10 days a year – as a result of their diagnosis.
- Mental illness short-term disability claims are growing by 10 percent annually.
- 64 percent of survey participants reported cognitive-related challenges, as defined by difficulty concentrating, indecisiveness and/or forgetfulness, have the most impact on their ability to perform tasks at work as normal.
- 58 percent of employees surveyed who have been diagnosed with depression indicate they had not told their employer of their disease.
- 49 percent felt telling their employer would put their job a risk
- 24 percent felt it was too risky to share their diagnosis with their employer.
These findings are among the key outcomes of The Impact of Depression at Work Audit (IDeA), a survey which assessed the economic burden of depression in the workplace. Employers Health, an Ohio-based employer coalition, announced results for the U.S. survey at the recent National Business Coalition on Health annual meeting.
The Group noted that:
“Yet, research shows that supporting the needs of those living with depression makes a difference. In fact, a cost-benefit modeling study by Lo Sasso et al. suggests every one dollar invested by employers in enhanced depression care yields approximately three dollars for the company in the form of productivity gains by employees.”
Employers that offer an EAP have access to a powerful tool for their employees that makes counseling affordable and accessible. The key is in publicizing information about depression, as well as disseminating frequent information about the availability of help through the EAP. It’s important to educate your managers and supervisors to watch for changes in work performance that may indicate depression and to know how to make referrals to the EAP.
Here are some resources to help you deal with depression in your workplace:
- What employers can do to address health & productivity issues related to depression in the workplace
- Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share
- Robin Williams’ death puts a spotlight on depression
- Depression Field Guide for Employers (a toolkit)
- Partnership for Workplace Mental Health
ESI EAP offers depression and mental health counseling 24/7/365. Employee Members and their families have access to Masters and PhD level counselors. If your organization needs an Employee Assistance Program give us a call: 800-535-4841.