On Saturday 10th May at 4am I took part in the Darkness into Light Walk along with over 2,000 others in my local town Dungarvan, Co Waterford. This turnout was pretty amazing for a small town with a population of only 10k – a fifth of the town joined in. However, the 4am walk is not just a local occurrence, it is an annual event taking place across the whole of Ireland to raise funds and awareness for the amazing, award winning charity – Pieta House – a suicide and self-harm crisis centre. The event is also becoming global with walks in London and Sydney too.
It is the second time I have done this walk and again I was humbled by the turn out of runners and walkers of all ages, shapes and sizes; some on crutches, some in pushchairs, families and solo walkers. A lot of the people there had lost someone to suicide or indeed had been helped from the edge by Pieta House. It was humbling and inspiring at the same time.
It got me thinking about this silent disease with the umbrella label of depression that people struggle to talk about, the stigma that goes with it and how others don’t know how to deal with people who are suffering from it, especially in a workplace environment. How is depression dealt with at work, what are the legalities from a management point of view if you have an employee who is suffering and what is the best practice to follow to deal with the situation with empathy?
Now I’m not qualified to make any suggestions on dealing with depression at work so I have done some research and collated 8 posts which provide excellent information from all points of view on the subject of this debilitating disease.
Depression – Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. Mental Health Foundation
Dealing With Depression at Work: What You Need to Know – “While there are many great books online about how to deal with depression or anxiety at work, I also want to share some suggestions based on my own experience for making it through—and even thriving.” Betsy Aimee, Forbes
Dealing with depression at work for employers – One in five employees is likely to be affected by depression at some point in their lives so be prepared to support your staff. Action on Depression
Depression for Entrepreneurs – “It’s not the blues. It’s not a bummer. It’s a mess of chemicals. You can’t cheer me up. I just have to ride it out, and yet, I’ve come up with some ideas to help entrepreneurs and others figure out how to live a “YES, AND” life around depression.” Chris Brogan
Only the Lonely – “Some people, as some people always will, cannot understand that depression (or in my case cyclothymia, a form of bipolar disorder) is an illness and they are themselves perhaps the sufferers of a malady that one might call either an obsession with money, or a woeful lack of imagination.” Stephen Fry (plus a Youtube clip – Stephen Fry Talks About His Depression)
12 Workplace Depression Busters – “What do we do? Bring our Kleenex to work and hope we don’t get caught crying, or give our notice with no other job in reach? Thankfully, we have a few steps between these two extremes. Here are 12 techniques that have helped me manage the workplace blues.” Therese Borchard at Beliefnet.com
Depression in the workplace – stigma remains – Depression in the workplace cannot be underestimated. Over 300,000 people in Ireland experience a depressive illness at some point in their life, with an estimated one in 14 workers affected. IrishHealth.com
Stress, depression and mental health support at work – Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder do not need to stop you from working. With the right support and the right job people with mental health problems perform vital roles in workplaces across the UK. Time to Change
There is a lot of very useful information in these posts if you suffer from depression or you know someone that does and you want to help them. Always seek advice and help seems to be the common thread and of course makes complete sense as bottling everything up to yourself can only mean you suffer alone plus you are bound to blow at some point.
I hope the above has helped.
Images: “DC Images“
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