Shockingly, figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) have revealed that the number of people with depression worldwide increased 189% between 2005 and 2015, with now more than three million people living with depression. This figure marks depression as the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide – it is no wonder employers are now starting to think about how they can detect and support employees suffering with this illness.
What is depression?
Depression is a real illness that causes changes in brain chemistry. Anyone suffering from depression will tell you that it’s not imaginary or ‘all in your head’. Depression is more than ‘just feeling down’ and can have a significant impact not only for the individual but their families and work colleagues.
What causes depression?
Although scientists agree that depression is a brain disorder, the debate continues about exact causes. Many factors may contribute to the onset of depression, including genetic characteristics, changes in hormone levels, medical illness, stress , grief or substance abuse.
What are the Symptoms of depression:
Why should employers care about employees' mental health and wellbeing
Employers have a responsibility to promote workplace wellbeing and help prevent poor mental health. It is in their interest to take workplace wellbeing seriously, as those companies that do typically have more engaged, productive and loyal employees, who are less likely to have to take time off sick. Standing by people when they experience a mental health problem is not only about keeping hold of a valuable employee, it also sends a message about your organisation's values. Trust and integrity are key drivers of engagement and organisations that support employees reap the benefits in terms of loyalty and commitment from all employees. It is something that QBE is taking seriously, by training managers to understand common mental health conditions so that an open and supportive work environment can be fostered.
What can employers do?
If you are suffering with depression or just want to understand more, please visit the Mind website