21 million adults are affected by depression in North America every year
And the number today is even higher with the advent of Coronavirus. The costs to lost productivity (presenteeism), outright absenteeism and disability claims amount to over $230 Billion per year. That said, depression and the resulting impact to business and team members is not something that typically gets the attention of the CEO, Board members and other senior executives. Part of the reason is that relatively few senior executives suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD). To that point, over the last forty years or so, our firm has psychologically assessed upwards of one hundred thousand people and, anecdotally, the evidence is clear that depression is not particularly prevalent in the upper echelons of a business or organization. Part of the reason is due to the typical age group that is most affected by this disorder – the majority of people experiencing depression are between the ages of 15 and 44 and it is the primary reason why one person in every 11 minutes in North America dies of suicide – about 120+ people a day - over 44,000 people per year. In contrast, the number of suicides in a year is about 250% higher than the number of murders in any given year. With Coronavirus raging across the continent, all of which is adding to the numbers of people experiencing significant depression, we strongly urge you to watch for some of the possible tell-tale signs in an individual……..
· Decline in work performance that is uncharacteristic or a person suggesting their workload is overwhelming or complicated
· Becoming more withdrawn
· Someone who verbalizes they are “taking stock.”
· Giving away personal items that seem to have no clear reason
Getting professional help for people suffering from depression is highly recommended. As well, recognize that the research suggests that strong social relationships can act as a buffer against depression – as can well developed interactions with managers and peers.