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Depression in the Workplace

Who gets depressed?

Depression can affect any profession or job level, so anyone can become depressed, including formerly outstanding employees.

With nearly 10 percent of the population affected by depression each year, it is no wonder that depression has a big impact on the workplace.

What are the costs?

To Employers: Depression that goes untreated is costly. One recent study has found that people with depressive symptoms spend more days in bed than those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, back problems and more -- costing as much as billion a year! The price tag continues to escalate if a worker's depression leads to alcohol and/or drug abuse.

To Employees: The cost to depressed employees is anguish. The hopelessness, exhaustion and sadness can carry over into their jobs and cause missed days, inability to focus, and withdrawal from friends and co-workers.

In addition, depressed people may worry that their decreased productivity will lead to being fired and that seeking treatment will make them unemployable in the future.

An employee's work performance may be also affected if a spouse or child is suffering from depression.

What can you do?

Learn more about this common illness and take action.

Seek help! An employee assistance program (EAP) counselor or your HAP PCP can refer you to the appropriate resources.

Get properly diagnosed. Many people report that knowing what is wrong gives them a sense of relief and empowerment.

Symptoms of Depression:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Decreased interest in performance on the job
  • Tendency to be accident prone
  • Increased absenteeism

If you or a co-worker experiences any of these symptoms, itís time to talk with a professional.

Call the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at your organization or HAP's Coordinated Behavioral Health Management Department (CBHM) at (800) 444-5755. CBHM services are confidential and help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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