Good managers can make a positive impact on depression.
New research found that colleagues who felt able to speak openly about their depression with their managers were more productive at work than those whose bosses avoided talking to them about their condition. By contrast, colleagues with depression were found to take more days off work if their managers did not offer them support.
It's estimated that only 11% of employees discuss mental health problems with their line manager and half of employees say they would not discuss mental health with their line manager.
Deloitte estimates an annual cost to employers of mental health of between £33bn and £42bn.
The study found that where employers create a culture of avoidance around talking about depression, colleagues themselves end up avoiding work and, even when they return to work, they are not as productive as they could be. Clearly, more training and better workplace policies could help managers to recognise symptoms sooner and provide support – helping the colleague and reducing the cost to employers at the same time.
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