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What you should know about employee depression

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Depression is not only a serious issue it is also become a common medical issue. It is crucial that business owners realize the prevalence of depression and understand that it can be affecting some of their employees directly and some of the employees who work with the depressed employees. When someone in your workforce has depression it can have a demoralizing effect on the entire staff. This negativity can also be exacerbated by feelings of frustration and stress if work is not getting done on time or correctly. Employers should also keep in mind that their employees who have depression are more likely to take time off, use more sick time, and use more health care which can cost them a lot of money. This means that it is imperative that employers know everything they can about this serious medical issue and how to treat it. Here is what you should know about employee depression-

• Know the signs-One of the most difficult things is trying to determine when someone is seriously depressed. Employers often struggle to identify whether or not an employee is actually depressed. Most often a problem will become evident when an employee begins missing deadlines, moving slower, begins calling in sick, is chronically late for work, or exhibits a dramatic change in work habits. While this may just seem like a case of employee burnout it can also signal employee depression.
• Keep them working-When an employer first realizes that their employee has depression their first reaction may be to reduce the workload of the employee. If an employee is dealing with depression this can be a mistake. This can often make the employee feel that they are not valuable to the business and lack worth. The employer should focus instead on helping the employee to feel productive and keep them from feeling replaceable. Employers should understand the fact that when an employee feels disconnected from their job it often makes the depression worse. In addition, when an employee is kept working it gives them a chance to interact with others which can have a powerful healing effect on depression.
• Try not to overreact-Employers need to take the time to learn all they can about all aspects of mental illness including depression. This is crucial because successful business owners understand that their workforce is their most valuable asset. If you have an employee who is dealing with depression it is crucial to show them that there is help for this condition. It can be hard not to overreact to poor performance but employers should try to focus on the solution instead. Because of the seriousness of this issue many businesses are now offering mental health services as part of their health benefits. These are employers who understand the importance of treating all aspects of employee health.
• Listen to what is being said-Employers need to train themselves to listen carefully to what is being said by their employees. The reason for this is that many times employees will give out very subtle indications that they need help. These subtle clues are quiet cries for help that cannot be expressed in more overt ways. You will be able to determine who is dealing with depression if as a business owner you have an open line of communication with your employees. When you are willing to listen to your employees you will be able to find them the help they need in order to restore them to health. However, it should be noted that employers should only act as the facilitator for getting health and never assume that they must provide the help and counseling themselves.

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