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One In Five Suffer Depression


More than one in five (22 per cent) of Canadian employees are currently suffering depression (14 per cent diagnosed), while an additional 16 per cent report having experienced depression previously. Further, 84 per cent of managers and supervisors continue to believe it is part of their job to intervene when an employee is showing signs of depression, comparable to 2007 findings. These are among the findings of surveys commissioned and funded by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace to help define and respond to mental health issues in the workplace.  "The really good news is that more managers have received training in how to intervene. In 2007, only one in five had received any training on how to intervene with emotionally distressed employees; now one-third do," says Mary Ann Baynton, program director for the centre. "This speaks to increased awareness and availability of resources." However, she says they are “not there yet, though. Nearly two-thirds of managers are still seeking better training to address this type of situation. They are asking for more support and flexibility from upper-level management and human resources. The results also indicate that employers are perceived to be less accommodating of those experiencing mental health-related issues compared to those with physical health-related issues. Mike Schwartz, senior vice-president of group benefits for Great-West Life and executive director of the centre, says "the consensus appears to be that it is easier for workplaces to deal with physical disabilities than with mental health conditions – perhaps, because employers may not be aware of available resources to help them do so or because employees are less likely to self-identify as needing support."

Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts

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