Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Help Your Depressed Employees

Want Better Production from your Employees? Provide High-Quality Depression Care.

A new report indicates that providing high-quality depression care can improve productivity at work and lower absenteeism. And this effort on the employer's part reaps big rewards -- an estimated value of over $2,000 per full-time depressed employee.

A two-year nationwide program involving depressed employees showed a 6 percent improvement in productivity at work by an average of 6 percent (an estimated annual value of $1,491) and a 22 percent reduction in absenteeism (saving the companies an estimated $539 for each depressed full-time employee).

The program involved 326 blue-collar and white-collar workers who were diagnosed with depression. Workers received either standard or “enhanced” depression treatment. Researchers found that workers receiving the "enhanced" treatment made the largest gains in productivity while reducing their rate of absenteeism and the severity of their depression.

The study, published in "Medical Care" demonstrates that improving the quality of care for depression has positive consequences for productivity and absenteeism.

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