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Depression – How employers can help.

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The IDeA survey shows that depression has a significant impact on workplace productivity.

Twenty-three percent of those surveyed reported having been diagnosed with depression in their lifetime, and 39% needed time off from work as a result of their depression. Most took around 10 days off work the last time they experienced a depressive episode.

Low mood/sadness (78%), loss of interest in daily activities (58%), and cognitive-related problems (52%) were the symptoms that led most depressed workers to take time off from work.

Two thirds (64%) of depressed workers reported that cognitive-related challenges, such as difficulty concentrating, indecisiveness, and/or forgetfulness, had the most impact on their ability to do their job. Challenges related to thinking on the job are known to exacerbate so-called “presenteeism” ― being at work but not being engaged or productive.

Despite the negative impact depression has on workers, the survey found that 58% of employees with depression said they had not told their employer of their disease. Nearly half (49%) felt that telling their employer would put their job at risk, and given the economic climate, 24% felt it was too risky to share their diagnosis with their employer.

Roughly 35% of managers surveyed said they had no formal support or resources to help their employees with depression.

The Employers Health Coalition, Inc, and the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Foundation, has created the Right Direction initiative (www.RightDirectionForMe.com), a depression awareness campaign designed to provide employers with the tools needed to address and manage the effects of depression for employees.

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Sarah Miller, PMHNP-BC

Sarah Miller works with the addictions team, general psychiatry for adolescents and adults, and the competency restoration team. She is board-certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties are working in addictions and with people who experience serious mental illness.

Miller graduated from Indiana University with a psychology degree and went back to school for nursing. She received her nursing degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked in a nursing home and also spent time working in a group home with adolescents. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

She enjoys hanging out with her family and her two dogs, and going to sporting events.

Joanna Chambers, MD

Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November 2021. She graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her Doctorate of Medicine in 1996 and completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience, she currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine where she teaches Clinical Psychiatry. She is certified in Addiction Medicine and has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Organization as well as a sitting member of many medical association boards. Recently, she has won the Residents’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 from Indiana University and has received “Best Doctors Award” in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Dr. Chambers is incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine. She is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.