EVEN “MINOR” MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AFFECT WORK PRODUCTIVITY, US STUDY SAYS

EVEN “MINOR” MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AFFECT WORK PRODUCTIVITY, US STUDY SAYS from Carter Brown

By: Carter Brown  27/01/2014
Keywords: mental health, employers, work

A study published in the February issue of Medical Care suggests that relatively-minor undiagnosed mental health problems can affect workplace productivity. According to the authors of the report, Kajal Lahiri, PhD, Pinka Chatterji, PhD, and Souvik Banerjee of the University of Albany, many adults have subclinical mental health problems which can affect the smooth running of a business. The authors used data from three national US databases and a unique statistical modelling approach to identify the affects of symptoms – however minor – within the workplace. The study focused on symptoms associated with four common mental health conditions “crucial for labour market outcomes”: depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and panic attacks. It studied the overlap and combination of symptoms associated with these disorders in particular. It found that the symptoms of depression affected workplace outcomes the most. Other findings suggested that many of those undiagnosed still had symptoms comparable with those with a diagnosis – probably as a result of the stigma attached to a diagnosis. The research suggested targeting the symptoms most strongly related to performance at work – such as sleeping problems to due to anxiety and depression: “Interventions targeting workplace consequences of mental illness may benefit not only those who meet diagnostic criteria, but also many of these with subclinical levels of symptoms.” The authors added “Besides the afflicted individuals, employers also would potentially stand to gain from improved work functioning of those individuals.” We’re able to provide a range of mental health interventions and support to businesses, helping them achieve higher productivity through a happier workforce. Please see our Employers page for further information.

Keywords: employers, mental health, work

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