Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Treating Depression Is Good for Business

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.

  • Larry Parker

    Medicine may have advanced, but business, IMHO, is still in the Snake Pit, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, unanesthetized ECT, straitjacket, rubber room, insulin shock treatment stage of addressing mental illness.
    (Perhaps because, as cultural scholars such as Barbara Ehrenreich have pointed out, Pangloss has become the patron saint of American business — and we can’t have anything or anyone interfering with unbounded optimism, that pesky ADA aside, now, can we?)
    I think the business world (including government and non-profit employers, I hasten to add) need some sort of … well, jolt to get into the 21st century. As was said in another post, this study is necessary, but alas, will not be sufficient.

  • lapatosu

    I first read the article, “Good for Business,” in my own local paper. The more coverage of this study, the better. Anything to get people to start talking about the problem of health care in our country.

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