New Report Showcases Top Business' Solutions to Tackle Depression in the Workplace

   New Report Showcases Top Business' Solutions to Tackle Depression in the
                                  Workplace

  PR Newswire

  LONDON, April 28, 2014

LONDON, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

  *Company's mental health policy leads to 30% reduction in sickness absence
  *Employers could save at least 30% of lost productivity costs by
    implementing workplace policies that address mental ill-health

A group of major European employers today launch a report featuring fresh
insights into the fight against depression in the workplace. Up to 55% of
employees diagnosed with depression in Europe take time off work due to the
illness - equating to more than 38 million people ^[i] . ^ BT Group plc,
Deutsche Post DHL, H. Lundbeck A/S, Ogilvy and Unilever have publicly shared
information on their mental health policies in a bid to improve management of
depression by employers across Europe. 

"Depression costs European employers an estimated £77 billion a year, yet
despite this many workplaces underestimate its impact," said Tim Munden, Vice
President HR, Unilever UK and Target Depression in the Workplace Advisory
Group member. "At Unilever we firmly believe addressing depression through our
mental health policies will benefit both our people and our business. We aim
for 10% reduction by 2015 in work-related mental ill-health cases and working
days lost to mental ill-health."

BT's Good Health, Good Work programme has already produced great results,
reducing sickness absence rates due to depression by 30%. Furthermore, it has
been calculated that employers could save at least 30% of lost productivity
costs by implementing workplace policies that address mental ill-health.

"It is vital that employers across Europe are proactive in promoting a healthy
work environment which supports employees with depression," said Julia Ingall,
Talent Management Director, Ogilvy & Mather Group UK & EAME and Target
Depression in the Workplace Advisory Group member. "Depression is an illness
that many, including those in HR, feel unqualified to deal with, so we hope
this report will help inform and educate and address these challenges."

The featured companies in the report are all members of the Advisory Group to
Target Depression in the Workplace , an initiative set up to advise and
support human resources professionals across Europe on the management of
depression among their employees. The advisory group, whose members also
include Barclays, Luxottica, Nature magazine and Royal Mail Group Ltd
collectively employ over 600,000 people in Europe and generate revenues of
almost €200 billion annually. The International Labour Organization and
Federation of European Employers are also members of the advisory group.

"Case study examples shared in this report demonstrate how employers can
encourage early detection and management of depression, when equipped with the
right policies and resources," said Bill Wilkerson, Executive Chairman of
Mental Health International and Target Depression in the Workplace Chair. "By
taking action now, we can preserve the future wellbeing of workers and their
families, as well as deliver benefits to employers and the economy."

Depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide, affects 350 million
people and has a direct impact on company profit due to presenteeism
(attending work whilst ill) and absenteeism (taking time off work). The
cognitive symptoms of depression - concentration difficulties, indecisiveness,
and/or forgetfulness - are present up to 94% of the time in an episode of
depression and cause significant impairment in work function. People with
depression report on average 5.6 hours per week of total health-related lost
productivity time more than those without depression.

The report "Depression in the Workplace in  Europe : new insights from
business leaders" also emphasises the burden, impact and challenges faced by
companies as a result of depression.

The full report and further information on the Target Depression in the
Workplace initiative can be found at http://www.targetdepression.com .

^[i] Calculation as follows: there are 506,820,764 million people living in
the EU, of whom 68.4% work. This means the working population in the EU is
346,665,402, 20% of whom will have been diagnosed with depression (69333080).
55% of people diagnosed with depression take time of work which equates to
38,133,194

Laura Clewes, OgilvyHealthPR, Email: laura.clewes@ogilvy.com , Tel:
+44(0)207-108-6078/ Mob: +44-776-021-2600
 
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