Work is sometimes labeled as being stressful or depressing; however, a recent study published in the journal Occupational Medicine found that returning to work can help in the recovery of depressed patients. The study examined the lives of 500 individuals with depression from a variety of industries that were unable to work over a year’s time. In this population, returning to work was found to be a significant factor in recovery from depression. One vital dynamic was the flexibility and attentiveness of employers during the recovery process. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medical News Today that reviews the study:
The study echoes the findings of Dame Carol Black’s Review ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow’ which recognized that for most people work is good both for their long-term health and for their family’s well-being. The review found that ill health was costing the country £100 billion a year – £40 billion of which was related to mental health.
“Better access to occupational health services and psychological support are essential if employees with depression and anxiety are to get back to work quickly” said Dr Gordon Parker, President of the Society of Occupational Medicine. “‘Employers are often frightened of contacting an employee whose sick note says ‘depression’ for fear of being accused of harassment, but sympathetic contact with the employee and early help through occupational health can identify the most appropriate support. Occupational health services are ideally placed to advise managers and employees on the best return to work plan and should be involved early in the management of the employee’s absence.”