Beyond Blue

Thanks to readers Sandy Slaga and Larry Parker for bringing this AP story, “Study: Treating Depression Is Good for Business” to my attention.
Here’s the gist:

Investing in depressed employees — quickly getting them treatment and even offering telephone psychotherapy — can cut absenteeism while improving workers’ health, a study suggests.
Many employers view mental health coverage as a financial black hole, but the study shows that spending money on depression is a smart business move, said researcher Dr. Philip Wang. Wang works for the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the study.
Employees who got the aggressive intervention worked on average about two weeks more during the yearlong study than those who got the usual care — advice to see their doctor or seek a mental health specialist.
Also, more workers in the intervention group were still employed by year’s end — 93 percent vs. 88 percent — savings that helped employers avoid hiring and training costs, the researchers said.

Dr. Ken Duckworth was interviewed for the article because, as medical director for NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), he is heading NAMI’s campaign to support a bill before Congress that would require employers to offer mental health insurance coverage that is equal to that provided for physical illnesses.
To read the entire article, click here.

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