“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken”.” – C.S. Lewis
Given the increasing suicide rates seen globally, depression should be among the main concerns for employers to address. Unfortunately, employee depression is often difficult to recognise as those who suffer from this illness are unwilling to talk about their condition to the supervisor, let alone seek medical treatment. Common reason for not speaking up is that employees are unaware of their depression, or afraid of being seen as unprofessional. They are also concerned about the company’s confidentiality and worried that their insurance will not be adequate to cover such costs.
On the other hand, employees who are not suffering from depression said they are willing to refer to their coworkers if they are aware of the symptoms. 64 percent of MHA research respondents said they would refer an employee to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) health professional for such case.
HR leaders should be able to deliver while providing a proper explanation to employees and teams regarding the symptoms of clinical depression. The symptoms, nevertheless, can vary in severity and duration among different people.
In the workplace, depression has a corrosive effect on the individual’s ability to function in everyday tasks and performance. Symptoms such as sadness and lethargy are often associated with depression. Examples of cognitive symptoms are lack of concentration, indecisiveness and forgetfulness.
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression is not a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.” – Stephen Fry
If one of your employees shows signs of depression, HR staff can help by being “a talking friend”. A candid conversation with them will help reduce the feeling of depression because they will know that someone cares about them. To initiate the talk, you can follow these simple plans.
“What people never understand is that depression is not about the outside; it is about the inside.” – Jasmine Warga
In the end, to eliminate and prevent depression in your workspace, you need to understand that depression is not a physical injury that can be seen. Tackling depression in the workplace requires a holistic method focused on prevention, early recognition, and appropriate treatment, including pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Therefore, ensuring continuity of care and adequate follow-up for reducing relapses, such as a regular discussion on health and wellbeing, helps recovery and prevent depression from coming back.