Struggling with your workload? You are not the only one! A recent study consisting of 1,200 people, conducted by Depression Alliance as part of the Depression Awareness Week, highlighted that one third of people struggle to cope with work due to depression, stress and burn-out.
Symptomatic of this, 83 percent became withdrawn and experienced feelings of isolation and loneliness – emotions that neither helped nor eradicated their depression.
Only half of these people confided in a work colleague about how they were feeling, although 71 percent said once they had shared their internal anxieties with another, it made them feel much better.
The report has emanated the importance of recognising depression and stress, and has urged employers to take action into providing a better support system and working conditions for staff. Companies like the Royal Mail and Barclays have begun implementing new policies to ensure the support and processes for affected workers.
People with psychological disorders produced by work have the right to claim for compensation, and many employers face the civil courts as a consequence. According to employment laws, employers have a legal obligation to protect employees from injury to health caused by work, and a duty to make reasonable adjustments for employees with a disability. If these regulations are not followed, employees have a right to claim for misconduct.
Estimates from the Health & Safety Executive indicate that absence from work due to stress costs the UK economy in the region of £5-7 billion pounds per year. Getting to the root of the problem before depression and other mental health issues occur, is not only beneficial for employees, but also business.
Depression Alliance has recently launched a campaign called Friends In Need. It seeks to provide sufferers of depression with a channel of communication, either online or through organized groups, in order to help stop feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb, stated his desire to promote employment mental health services both in and outside of work, so that employees could get the support they need. An investment of £400 million has been made in order to improve access to treatment. This, they believe, will ultimately help people stay in employment. They also wish to change the perspective towards mental health issues.
Melissa from MLS says “there is a great stigma when dealing with mental health. Employers need to help combat work-related illness for the benefit of their employees, but also business. With the staggeringly high numbers of depression caused by work, improved support systems are definitely needed and should be taken seriously.”