Mental Health at Work
Some 350 million of us suffer mental health problems every year, and it may be getting worse. But are bosses spotting the signs of what some call a depression epidemic?
We examine a big, but often ignored part of our working lives: Depression in the workplace. Some 350 million of us it's reckoned suffer a mental health problem every year, and it may be getting worse. But are companies, are bosses, spotting the signs of what some call a depression epidemic? We hear the story of one Japanese advertising executive who recently committed suicide after struggling with overwork, we visit Crossrail, a UK company that's among those making efforts to encourage staff to consider and discuss their mental health challenges, and we hear from a leading workplace psychologist, Emma Donaldson-Feilder, Director of Affinity Health at Work and also a Director of Affinity Coaching and Supervision, which supports workers and managers look into this problem. She believes the global financial crisis has contributed to the pressures affecting workers. Finally we hear the detailed story of one senior executive, Sam Brown, a corporate lawyer at the London firm Herbert Smith Freehills, who describes suffering a breakdown as a result of stress and emotional exhaustion. She says it's important for all workers to take close care of their own mental health, and for managers to make dialogue possible. The WHO estimates that as much as a trillion dollars is lost to business worldwide as a result of mental health breakdowns.
(Photo: Stress at work, Credit: Thinkstock)