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Lower Bottom Line by Screening for Depression in the Workplace

Depression is a huge international health problem; the leading cause of disability worldwide. Some call it the "common cold of mental illness". Employees who are depressed are less productive and account for increased absenteeism in the workplace. Since so much of people's lives are devoted to working, when people are disabled due to depression, their work is adversely affected. Researchers at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) are recommending that employers add a depression screening and intervention program "as a healthy, win-win investment...".

Researchers found compelling evidence that a company's bottom line could be improved by making sure employees were effectively screened and treated. Most larger corporations have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) to support employees who are having mental health problems, including substance abuse, financial problems and family issues. Screening services have gotten very sophisticated - online, telephonic, multilingual services tools that provide instant feedback make it easy for employees. Employers can add features such as on-line referrals to in-network providers. All of this is done anonymously, unobtrusively and is non-threatening.

Providers of these services estimate that 85% of people who need treatment are going untreated. With the advent of workplace screening and intervention programs, it is estimated that more people who need help will get it - and continue to be functional employees. That's a win for everyone.

Thank you Andrew3000 for Bad Day at the Office photo.

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