Depression in the workplace

 
One in four employees in South Africa have been diagnosed with depression. This is according to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). With job shortages, a tight economy and everyday pressures surrounding us, stress is a key factor in the workplace.

There’s never been a time where anxiety, stress and depression has been more prevalent than today. SADAG hosted a Mental Health in the Workplace Workshop recently to equip HR directors and managers on how to deal with mental health related problems in the workplace and how employers can better arm their employees with the tools to combat stress and anxiety in the workplace.

“Depression affects cognitive functions such as decision making, concentration, memory and problem solving abilities. Depression negatively impacts on productivity,” says Psychiatrist and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Frans Korb.

Operations Director of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), CasseyChambers, says: “On average, people with depression took 18 days off work due to their depression in South Africa. This is one of the reasons why it’s vital to examine how depression is managed in the workplaceand what procedures are in place to ensure that affected employees are encouraged to and supported in seeking treatment.”
Five ways companies can help
* Educate employees on depression and especially how cognitive symptoms can affect work performance.

* Raise awareness of any existing employee assistance programmes AND emphasise that they can help with mental health problems, like depression, too.

* Promote a culture of acceptance around depression and other psychiatric disorders – they are no different to diabetes or asthma.

* If an employee shares their struggle with depression, refer them to a mental healthcare professional and reassure them the illness can be treated.

* Explore creative ways to support an employee’s recovery, like flexible/adjusted working hours or working from home for a while.

To find out more about the results of the new study, where to find professional help for depression and the associated cognitive symptoms, or to book a wellness day or corporate talk for your employees, contact Naazia Ismail at SADAG on 011 234 4837

 

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