Employers should help depressed employees get the help they need

It can be expected that an employee will face occasional depression associated with any number of issues going on in his or her personal lives or at work.

However, if a once-bubbly employee stops socializing or starts to seem withdrawn, then this may be a sign of something far worse than the temporary blues. Also, if a one-time dependable worker starts struggling to make deadlines or a once-decisive employee has difficulty in making the easiest of decisions, this may be a sign of a greater problem as well.

Studies have shown that at least 10 percent of all adults in America struggle with depression. This equates to over 16 million who suffer from this condition alone in the United States.

At least $26 billion goes to directly treating depression each year in the United States, an amount that is far greater than what's spent on many other illnesses. It's estimated that employers lose over $50 billion in lost productivity each year from employees calling in absent because they're depressed.

An employee who is depressed may find it difficult to remember things, concentrate or make decisions. They may have difficulty in reaching their performance goals, their work product may decline and they may move deliberately as their interest in their work diminishes.

Workers who are depressed may become increasingly tardy or miss work. In addition to withdrawing from co-workers, employees who experience depression may seem to be overly emotional or sensitive when confronted.

A depressed employee may be facing a major illness, be under far too much stress at home or at work, be grieving the loss of a loved one or have an impending divorce lingering in front of him or her.

Studies show that those who receive treatment for their depression will improve within four to six weeks of having received it. Few employers have clear plans in place to identify their workers' depressive symptoms, though. Even less have procedures in place to ensure that they get the help they need if they are believed to be depressed.

If you're suffering from depression or some other type of mental health condition that you believe was brought on by your job, then a Dauphin workplace illness attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.

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