Workplace Depression Costs Companies Billions Each Year

Depression in the workplace costs American companies $44 billion a\r\nyear, but employers can take steps to help their employees that also\r\nhelp to reduce these costs.

Depression in the workplace costs American companies $44 billion a year, but employers can take steps to help their employees that also help to reduce these costs, according to Magellan Behavioral Health.

"The good news is that more than 80 percent of depressed people can be treated quickly and effectively," said Dr. Ann Montgomery, a psychiatrist who serves as chief medical officer for Magellan Behavioral Health''s workplace division. "The key to success is early recognition of symptoms and appropriate intervention."

More than half of the costs associated with depression are incurred indirectly, resulting from absenteeism, lower productivity, turnover, longer disability and increased medical costs from misdiagnosis, according to Montgomery.

Montgomery offers the following tips for supervisors to help them address depression in the workplace:

  • Evaluate your workplace''s attitudes toward mental illness and take steps to reduce any stigma.
  • Remember that people who are treated for depression have a significant likelihood of returning to normal, productive status at work.
  • Actively promote healthy living in the workplace by making educational information such as flyers and posters available to employees about all diseases, particularly depression.

Magellan Behavioral Health specializes in managed behavioral health, employee assistance programs and human services for companies across the United States and Canada.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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