Dealing With Depression in the Workplace

Dealing with Depression: A Critical Component of Health Processes

Dealing with Depression is far more insidious than other illnesses. It still does not merit in the minds of many being classified as  a disease. Most people feeling symptoms of depression do not seek help. Depression is more than occasional feeling sad. It is a treatable mental illness – however I am asking to look at different ways of managing symptoms of depression. Yes, treatment protocol must be discussed with your health care professional, please discuss a number of possibilities.  Medication has its issues too.

Corporations can help. Obviously by helping  people get treated for depression it is going to enrich the bottom dollar for the organization.

Dealing with Depression mental Health Canada Best In Corporate Health

Statistics from the CDC on Dealing with Depression in the Workplace:
  • Depression is the major cause of absenteeism, presenteeism, and productivity impairment in  adults.
  • 18.8 million American adults (9.5% of the adult population) will suffer from a depressive illness
  •   Approximately 80% of persons with depression reported some level of functional impairment   because of their depression, and 27% reported serious difficulties in work and home life
  • In a 3-month period, patients with depression miss an average of 4.8 workdays and suffer 11.5 days of reduced productivity
  • In 2003, national health expenditures for mental health services were estimated to be over $100 million
  • Depression is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year at a cost to employers of $17 to $44 billion

Diagnoses of depression in the workplace is a difficult challenge. By the inclusion of employee engagement/satisfaction surveys into the health and fitness assessment, provides vital clues to the possibility of depression. Assessment in health and fitness programs can be used to gather information, potential clues that a person is displaying signs and symptoms of depression.

By recognizing  the signs and symptoms of depression in an assessment such as:


complaints of fatigue

productivity strain

loss of focus

changes in attitude, mood swings

assessing perceived workplace pressures

could easily help in the early identification of depression, enabling a prompt, confidential referral to further diagnostics and treatment services for the employees.

Even if diagnosis is difficult, or the employee is resistant to further diagnostics – by introducing a thorough health and fitness program, we can alleviate the  symptoms of depression. At that point, when the person feels less threatened – maybe then the employee can be approached again to seek further assessments and treatments.

Studies have consistently proven that a physical activity, healthy lifestyle program are excellent adjunct therapies  in the treatment and prevention of depression.

The first thing to be clearly stated here – it is NOT just about going out and working out faster, stronger, harder. In many cases, that could actually contribute to worsening symptoms of depression. Yes, physical activity and nutrition are from and center to adjunct therapies – as part of an encompassing healthy lifestyle program.

A note about medications:

Antidepressants – there is no question have their place. However, speak to your health care professional about potential side effects:


increased appetite and weight gain

loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm

fatigue and drowsiness


dry mouth

blurred vision






Sounds quite contradictory for the dealing with depression – knowing potential side effects and discussing them with the health care professional is a must. Antidepressants work by manipulating body chemistry.

One of the many magical rewards of fitness is the power to regulate hormones and brain chemistry, which are often altered due to the daily mayhem in our lives.

The Mayo Clinic clearly states that regular exercise, physical activity and the right nutrition can dramatically reduce the symptoms of depression. Psychology Today refers to over 25 studies that tells us:


This epidemiological study by the University of Toronto concluded:

Moderate Exercise Could Replace Costly Medications with Side Effects

We have a serious myth though that dictates exercise requires a gym and time we think we don’t have – just not true.

Dealing with Depression in the Workplace at Best In Corporate HealthA properly designed health and fitness program, planned along with the employee balances:

what is right for the employee

what will they actually embrace

What will provide the physiological reward for adherence (not rejection)

the medical needs of the process

adjusting gut health….yes a huge part of dealing with depression, far too often only included in holistic/naturopathic remedies……….

Again, corporations have a golden opportunity here:

Physiological and Psychological empowerment of Employees

Be the hero – show management truly cares for employees

Save precious dollars by reducing absenteeism, presenteeism, improving productivity, mood

Reducing healthcare costs

Dealing with depression in  Best In Corporate Health Processes is key.  Our assessments prioritize  happiness – please refer to our post on the Corporate Happy Place.  Your Corporate Happy Place must prioritize employee happiness – which we know is a product of cell-being. Any stigma of being labelled, breach of confidentiality is alleviated with our assessments, instilling a sense of of genuine concern for happiness and well-being.