Mental HealthA recent survey focusing on the most depression prone jobs and industries has alarmingly named Printing and Publishing as Number 10 and whilst we all would love to be happy in our job and lives, the real world dictates that our day to day work and family challenges often take their toll and sometimes work becomes the escape, and that perhaps more relevantly, this is where the problems are, the data is from a research paper titled ‘Prevalence rates for depression by industry: a claims database analysis’

Many people will face challenges in their roles and careers, these could be due to a bad Manager, a heavy workload, long hours / overtime, or something more alarming like workplace harassment or bullying, but it seems even worse when our jobs require us to be up-beat and positive. This is especially the case for Client facing roles such as Account Management and Sales and especially roles requiring the management of team or a Business. If you or your Managers are feeling down, it is likely that it will affect the ability to manage people effectively, as team motivation is a key requirement.

Research has found that there is a serious impact on wellbeing as a result of “daily emotional labour” which is explained as “the effort, planning and control needed to express the desired emotion”.  For example, social workers, who are expected to be compassionate during all their activities, were found to have high rates of depression compared to the average person.  So too were estate agents who are required to be upbeat and positive and retail staff who must always be helpful and friendly.

The survey ranks Transportation Drivers as top, probably due to isolation, with Estate Agents and Social Workers second and third.  Printing and Publishing, albeit further down the list is still up there in the top 10.

A recent report by explains that;

  • Almost one in three people have experienced mental health issues while in employment.
  • Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year.
  • 95% of employees calling in sick with stress gave a different reason.

We simply need to considering the commercial implications, how much did staff sickness cost your business in lost days last month/last year and what reasons did staff give?  Could it be something else, the results point that it certainly could be, but it is not always that simple.

It is difficult to detect the causes & threats, it is challenging to address & treat, but it’s absolutely clear that Businesses and especially Managers need to be prepared to offer wider help and support to their employees and this is increasingly backed up by a variety of mental health awareness / support training for Managers to understand, implement & drive recognised good practice, not only to maximise their staff’s wellbeing, but critically, to maximise their effectiveness & Business contribution.  For more information on suitable training we would recommend contacting ACAS