Some who suffer with this illness may experience such chronic long-term sadness that they barely understand any more what it is like to feel normal.
When depressed employees find relief, it is not unlike those who are able by a medical procedure to hear or see for the first time.
You probably have employees on payroll right now who suffer with chronic depression. They function with depression, but they are not firing on all cylinders. Productivity losses for this group of employees is enormous.
Employees with depression may not look "depressed", sulk at their desk, or behave sluggishly. Still, depression is one of the most costly illnesses to employers at a whopping $75 billion in lost productivity and absenteeism alone.
Consider educating employees about depression periodically so those who suffer from it have the chance to self-diagnose, rally with motivation, seek help. This is easy to do, and the payoffs can be great.
Here's a tip: Educate employees about depression in an article, and refer to a term called "bottomless sadness" associated with depression, and normal sadness. Google this term, and wrap a 150 word article around it. Put it in your health and wellness newsletter (or wait until March when I will do it in Frontline Employee.) You will be surprised at the impact this article has employees. Some who need help right now may reach out.
Don’t do a one-shot educational presentation or brown bag on depression. Instead trickle the information out in chapters with your newsletter, fliers, or another wellness tips program. You will see people move toward getting help after awareness builds after about six messages.
Consider this reproducible and editable tip sheet called “Understanding Depression.” Or Google for one like it somewhere on the Web. There are many. But, begin educating employees about this brain disease if you have not done so in a while.
Note, the tip sheet above also is available as a Video, Web Course, DVD, and PowerPoint. All have professional narration.