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Workers Admit to Struggling with Depression as Blue Monday Hits the UK

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Just days ahead of Blue Monday, dubbed the ‘most depressing’ day of the year, new research reveals how 35.3% of UK employees suffer with depression, with 41.7% saying they feel judged by their colleagues.

The news comes from the UK’s largest job site, CV-Library, which conducted a survey amongst over 1,100 workers to explore mental health in the workplace. Worryingly, it revealed an unhealthy attitude towards depression, with 74.3% of those workers suffering admitting they wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to their manager about their issues.

Furthermore, a staggering 70% of those dealing with depression at work confessed that they don’t feel supported by their employers. However, flexible working ranked as the top way that businesses can help those suffering to find a healthy balance between work and depression. The top 5 solutions were:

  1. Flexible working (22.8%)
  2. Reduced workloads (9.3%)
  3. Access to counselling serviced (8.5%)
  4. Additional time off (6.6%)
  5. More breaks between tasks (6.6%)

In addition, 63.5% of workers wouldn’t give their depression as the reason for calling in sick, while a huge 89.2% believe that disclosing depression in an interview would hinder their chances of getting the job.

When it comes to those workers who haven’t suffered with mental illness in the workplace, the survey simply highlights the prejudices that depressed workers contend with throughout their careers. The following opinions were raised amongst peers that don’t suffer with depression:

  • 50.8% believe that depression lessens a worker’s abilities
  • 73.1% feel there is a negative stigma around depression in the workplace
  • Over one third (39.8%) believe their colleagues with depression are treated differently i.e. they are excluded
  • Over two thirds (68.5%) anticipate a change in their colleagues attitude towards them, should they ever be diagnosed with depression

Commenting on the findings, Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, says:

“A huge proportion of the nation’s professionals are suffering with mental health issues, and it’s concerning to see that attitudes aren’t changing as quickly as they should be. What’s more disheartening is the negative stigma attached to depression. This, combined with the prejudices that workers are facing, prevent employees from being honest with their managers. Those with depression often feel marginalised and judged, and it’s worrying that this attitude is still prevalent in the workplace. For the UK’s mental health issues to be properly addressed, and for workers with depression to get the support they need, these beliefs need to change for good.”

However, it’s not all bad news – 43.8% of workers believe that co-workers with depression are treated equally, and over half (54.4%) said that they would happily hire someone with depression, if they were in charge of hiring. What is clearer than ever in the run-up to 2016’s Blue Monday is that more needs to be done in the UK to help eradicate the stigma around mental illness, providing sufferers with some relief, and workers across the nation with better understanding of depression.

Learn more about CV-Library here.