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When the average person thinks about depression, they may picture someone who's just severely sad. However, as a psychiatric illness, depression is more than just sadness. People who have this condition also have problems sleeping, eating right or concentrating on everyday tasks. This underscores the importance of collaboration with PEO companies to ensure that your employees have the most comprehensive benefits that can help cover treatment for depression.

A recent survey pointed to worrisome trends regarding the prevalence of depression in the workplace, as well as the positive impact of depression care benefits, as published by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Stigma dissuades adequate management
According to the news source, a survey of 1,000 workers in the U.S., conducted by the Employers Health Coalition, revealed that 23 percent of respondents had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder at least once in their lifetimes. Furthermore, 58 percent of these individuals didn't make their diagnosis known to their employers. Within this group, 49 percent felt disclosure of their depression would put their jobs at risk, and 24 percent said they were afraid of a lack of confidentiality.

"This survey provides evidence clearly demonstrating the detrimental impact of depression on the U.S. workforce and the associated stigma of the disease," Brian Klepper, CEO of the National Business Coalition on Health, told the news source. "The results show there is a vital need for employers to provide support and resources in their workplaces for those suffering from this debilitating disease."

Whether the threat to job security is genuine or not, it's also illegal. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees with psychiatric illness from workplace discrimination. Additionally, people who have depression and other disorders may not seek treatment because of fear of rejection from their loved ones or a lack of general knowledge.

Look into depression care benefits
One reason why depression is relevant for employers is the fact that it costs businesses $44 billion in lost workdays and reduced productivity. For these reasons, make sure that your workers' benefits include comprehensive coverage for depression and other psychiatric health issues. Additional services that may be valuable include depression recognition screenings, employee assistance programs and training that teaches managers and supervisors how to recognize the signs of depression.

According to the SHRM, the Return on Investment for these benefits is nearly 300 percent.