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Professionals unsure of how to manage depression in the workplace

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HC Online | 10 May 2011, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Australian workers have a high level of awareness about depression and anxiety disorders but insufficient training is provided on how to help or identify a colleague who is experiencing depression, according to a new survey.
  • Bernie Althofer | 10 May 2011, 02:19 PM Agree 0
    Workplaces seem to place considerable emphasis on physical safety and the training that goes with it. However, training on how to identify or even manage psychological hazards and the related conditions may not be adopted across all organisations. Encouraging people to come forward at times when they need help is compounded when a range of support networks may be seen as 'the way to deal with the problem'. Creating learning opportunities where managers can identify 'warning signs' should be par for the course. As a manager, it is difficult to know how to respond without appropriate training as an ill placed (but sometimes well intentioned) word will cause more damage than good. There seems to be little doubt that the flow on effects caused by the poor or inadequate management of a person with depression or anxiety can have a lasting impact, not only the individual and the organisation, but also on family, friends and associates. Collectively we should recognise the difficulties that people face in coming forward, and collectively we should work together to support those who need assistance. Treating people in times of need with compassion and understanding, respect and dignity might just provide some measure of addressing these issues.
  • Meiron Lees | 10 May 2011, 04:53 PM Agree 0
    I think the same applies to managing workplace stress. It's also a serious problem costing Australian business over $10b per annum. I don't think organisations are doing enough to help their employees especially given the fact that there isn't sufficient representation from industry bodies to assist. It links closely with depression, increased absenteeism, presenteeism, ill health and attitudinal derailment. I'm all for OH&S laws to become more enforceable in making it compulsory for organisations to be actively taking care of the mental and emotional well being of all its employees.
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