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Manage Depression At The Worksite

manDepression is estimated to affect more than six percent of the working population. When people with bipolar disorder and other forms of depression are included, the true rate is even higher.

Unfortunately, only half of workers suffering from depression receive any form of treatment, and less than half of these receive care consistent with current treatment guidelines.

The issue is discussed in a series of new studies found in the April Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Authorities call for an integrated, evidence-based approach to manage this common, chronic, and often recurrent disorder.

The 15 papers in the issue, prepared by experts in their fields, are presented as part of the ACOEM Depression in the Workplace Project, a joint venture of the ACOEM Occupational Mental Health Committee and the ACOEM Health and Productivity Section.

Having defined the scope of the problem, the new papers discuss some promising approaches to improving the management of workplace depression. For example, programs to improve coping and stress management skills, identify employees at risk, and promote early treatment may help to prevent or lessen the severity of depression.

New approaches will be needed to manage persistent gaps in treatment for depression. Although antidepressant medications are effective, they do not eliminate symptoms in all patients. Specific types of psychotherapy have proven beneficial, but appear to be underused.

Newer “collaborative care” approaches show promise in improving the outcomes of depression treatment. Although initial costs are higher, these intensive approaches make good business sense — more effective treatment leads to better employee retention and increased hours worked.

For employers, for whom depression is linked to increased unemployment, increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity — not to mention disruptive effects on work organization and increased health care and disability costs — such enhanced depression care programs should be viewed not as an added cost, but as a “human capital investment opportunity.”

The authors call on the occupational medicine community to play a leadership role in improving the management of workplace depression. Drs. Caruso and Myette advocate the development of integrated approaches incorporating the best of clinical, community, and workplace programs.

They conclude, “An expanded role for employers and occupational health professionals in the management of depression and other chronic diseases is seen as fundamental to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce.”

Source: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Manage Depression At The Worksite

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Manage Depression At The Worksite. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/04/09/manage-depression-at-the-worksite/2136.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.