Mental illness is all too common in the United States. One in five adults will experience a mental illness in any given year, and depression is among the most common. So it’s time to learn about how it can affect your business.
What is Depression?
Many emotional disorders exist, but one of the most common is depression. Many psychologists diagnose those with depression to have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It’s characterized by these symptoms:
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt
- Fatigue or decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Appetite changes or weight fluctuations
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Unexplained aches and pains
As you can see, depression is a severe disorder that can profoundly affect someone’s life. Left untreated, it can lead to problems at work, at home, and in relationships. Here’s how depression can affect your company.
How Depression Affects a Company
A person with depression is likely to be less productive than usual. They may have difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things. This can lead to errors, absenteeism, and low morale.
Depression can also cause problems in relationships. Those with depression may withdraw from friends and family, leading to social isolation. They may also be irritable, which can damage relationships with co-workers. It can also lead to more conflicts between your employees, which can damage your company in multiple ways.
If you have an employee with depression, it’s important to be supportive. Here are some ways you can deal with it in your office.
Depression doesn’t happen out of the blue. There are usually underlying reasons behind it. If you can’t handle it yourself, consider offering services to your employees.
For example, loss is one of the main reasons why people get depressed. It happens too fast for anybody to react, and it can be challenging if you have to deal with it yourself. One way you can help an employee who lost someone is by offering bereavement services to them. These services can help with the funeral arrangements and give the employee time off to grieve.
You can also offer counseling services to help employees deal with depression. A counselor can provide support and guidance on how to cope with depression. They can also help identify any underlying causes of depression.
Change the Work Environment
The work environment can be a trigger for depression. If you have an employee struggling with depression, consider making some changes to the workplace.
For example, if your office is always noisy, consider giving the employee a private space to work in. If employees are constantly bombarded with tasks, try to lighten their workload. These small changes can make a big difference for someone with depression.
Exercise is a natural mood booster. It releases endorphins, which have mood-enhancing effects. Encouraging employees to exercise can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
You don’t need to force employees to exercise. Just making it easier for them to exercise can be helpful. For example, you can offer discounts at a local gym or on-site exercise classes. You can also have simple exercises in your office, such as yoga, pilates, and stretching.
Educate Yourself and Your Employees
Depression is often misunderstood. There are many myths and misconceptions about it. That’s why educating yourself and your employees about depression are essential.
Make sure you know the signs of depression so you can identify them early on. You should also know how to support someone who is dealing with depression.
You can also educate your employees about depression. It can help them understand what their co-worker is going through and how they can help. You can also talk to them individually. This can make it a more intimate way to reach out to your employees while teaching them about depression.
Create a Supportive Culture
Depression can be isolating. Employees may feel like they can’t talk about it because of the stigma attached to mental illness.
You can create a supportive culture in your workplace by normalizing the conversation around mental health. This includes being open about your struggles with mental health.
You can also create support groups or employee assistance programs to help employees deal with depression. These programs can provide confidential counseling and support.
Depression is a serious issue, but it’s one that you can deal with in your company. By offering the tips above, your company can be equipped with the tools to support employees with depression, and once it’s equipped, it can ensure that your employees can work at a more productive pace than others in the industry.