Spotlight on workplace depression

by Astrid Wilson21 Aug 2012

When faced with a difficult workplace relationship issue, 82% of employees reported that they did not seek assistance from their HR department, perhaps stemming from a reluctance to ‘formalise’ the problem, a new report has revealed.

What’s more, two out of three employees were dissatisfied with their workplace’s management of problematic relationships issues, according to the survey from the Centre for Corporate Health. Perhaps of greatest concern, for a large majority of the workforce, an individual’s ability to be emotionally resilient, to handle pressures and demands, and to bounce back from adversity, was low. The stakes are high though, and HR must invest in best practice responses to bolstering workplace relationships. When workplace issues are not resolved they can lead to workplace conflict and the onset of mental illness. “We know that once a workplace conflict occurs, and if it is not dealt with quickly and appropriately, there is a much higher chance of employees developing psychological problems at work,” Rachel Clements from the Centre for Corporate Health said.

According to the director of the national suicide prevention campaign, the R U OK? foundation and campaign, workplaces need to understand the important role they can play in employee mental health and wellbeing, and how they can proactively stop little problems becoming bigger. “Managers and employees need to feel confident in their ability to have meaningful conversations, as well as feel they can turn to someone for support when struggling with an issue impacting on their performance in the workplace,” Janina Nearn said.

How to ask 'R U OK?'

According to the campaign, there are some simple steps which can help start a conversation:

1. Ask the question, ‘Are you ok?’

2. Listen without judgement

3. Encourage action

4. Follow up

For a more comprehensive step-by-step process, click here.


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