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Depressed workers too afraid to tell

Depressed workers too afraid to tell

Almost half of Australian workers who take time off for depression hide the reason from their employer, says a new SANE Australia study.

“Almost 1 in 2 who hadn’t informed their employer (48%) had felt they would put their job at risk if they told their employer the reason for time off,” said the study Impact of Depression at Work: Australia Audit.

Sane Australia said this is almost double the number of people compared with workers surveyed in Europe.

Australians diagnosed with depression also took less time off work than European workers. “The average number of working days taken off during their last episode was 14.6 days compared to 35.9 days reported by European workers.”

“Further research is needed to determine why people are returning to work sooner in Australia,” says SANE Australia CEO, Jack Heath.

“It may be people are getting better treatment or it may be because of the greater stigma attached to mental illness.”

Sane Australia said Australian managers wanted more support from HR departments, more mental health training and more counselling for staff.

For more details, visit Sane Australia.

Published on 21 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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