World Health Day – Tackling Depression at the Office
With winter officially behind us, many are looking forward to April for its longer, warmer days. With spring and Easter around the corner, it is easy to overlook World Health Day, which falls on April 7th. Coinciding with the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) formed by the United Nations in 1950, World Health Day is an opportunity to tackle worldwide health issues as a community. Each year, the WHO chooses a different theme to focus on, having addressed a vast range of topics from food safety to the potential health effects of climate change.
This year, the WHO is encouraging us to broach the tough topic of depression. Their Campaign title, “Depression: Let’s talk”, is meant to open up the discussion on depression with the goal of eliminating the stigma surrounding it, and facilitating better care options for those suffering from it.
In the workplace, confronting such a personal topic like depression can seem intimidating, but the mental health of your employees is important – not only for their well-being, but for the business as well. Depressed individuals can become a costly drain on company productivity, and as statistics show that the majority of depression cases can be treated if diagnosed, it makes sense to take a stance against depression in the office.
There are several strategies to help your employees cope with depression:
- Teach your staff about depression and how to treat it by preparing a presentation or bringing in a speaker who is well-educated on the topic to present to your staff.
- Offer employee resources and assistance programs include counseling or a depression telephone line that they can call if they need help. There are many organizations out there that offer assistance plans specifically for employees, such as LifeWorks.
- Utilize the power of Eco-therapy in the workplace. Even little things like having healthy snacks available in the break room or having living plants placed throughout the office can help facilitate better mental health for your employees
Providing resources to your employees and showing them that their mental health is a priority will encourage them to get help if they need it.
Not only that, it shows your employees that you care about them not just as workers but as people as well – which makes for a happy, healthy, and productive office!