Workers are suffering from recession depression says charity

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The UK mental health charity ‘Mind’ has published new research this week showing how the global recession has had a significant impact on the mental health of employees in the country.

The research which was carried out by Populus, and involved a survey of around 2,500 employees, found that last year, one in ten people visited their doctor in connection with a mental health problem related to stress caused by the recession.

The survey also revealed that 20 percent of workers developed depression related to work stress at some point during their working life, out of these, 10 percent were prescribed a course of anti-depressants. Around 5 percent of the workers had also seen a counsellor.

“The figures are telling us that the recession has had a significant impact on the mental well-being of the workforce” said Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind.

“The number of people being prescribed anti-depressants leapt last year, with a far greater than average increase. The number of prescriptions rose from 35 million in 2008 to 39 million in 2009.”

Mind has launched a new campaign called ‘Taking Care of Business’, which aims to raise awareness of the mental health issues affecting workers, improve the conditions for workers and to change attitudes towards mental well being at work.

“A bad work environment can be damaging and can trigger a wide range of problems from exhaustion to depression, while having a good working life is proven to be an asset for our overall mental health,” Mr Farmer told the Telegraph.

Estimated cost to business of people taking time off work because of mental health problems like depression, stress and anxiety, are estimated at £26 billion a year, but according to Mind, this figure could be reduced by a substantial amount to £8 billion.

“Investing in wellbeing doesn’t have to be expensive, and businesses who look after their staff reap the rewards in reduced sickness absence and increased productivity” claims Mr Farmer who added “No employer can afford to ignore mental health.”

No individual can afford to ignore depression either as untreated depression can have a devastating effect not only on the individuals work and therefore finances but also on personal and family relationships and on quality of life in general.

Depression is a treatable condition and the sooner someone who suspects they may be suffering from depression seeks help, the sooner they will get their lives back.

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