Local Employers Discuss Impact of Depression on the Workplace

Depression touches 1 in 10 Americans and has a price tag of $210.5 billion per year. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

Greater Louisville area employers gathered last Thursday, April 20, to discuss how to decrease stigma and increase help-seeking behaviors for employees with depression. Marcus Miles from Employers Health and Clare Miller from American Psychiatric Foundation’s Workplace Mental Health shared how depression manifests itself in the workplace and ways employers can address this growing issue.

There are many barriers that prevent employees from seeking treatment. Research shows that an increasing number of people recognize that mental illness is neurobiological and are increasingly supportive of professional treatment. However, for individuals with mental health issues, stigma remains a large barrier for seeking treatment. Despite effective options, people seek treatment less than half the time because:

  • They don’t know they’re depressed
  • They don’t want to admit they’re depressed
  • They are afraid it will adversely affect their work status
  • They are embarrassed
  • They feel alone
  • They don’t know where to seek help

The Right Direction works with existing Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to improve employee recognition of the symptoms of depression, reduce stigma, and point employees toward resources and treatment. Companies like Zappos, Inc. and Meijer have successfully utilized the campaign to increase depression referral and treatment. Employers interested in learning more about this program can visit www.rightdirectionforme.com or contact the KHC Office at 502-238-3603.