It's no secret that depression has turned into a prevalent problem in our country. And while many celebrities are now opening up about their battles with the condition, there are many people who still struggle with it but don't feel brave enough to talk about it. What most people fail to understand is that depression is a consistent problem. “You don’t leave your depression at the door when you walk into work. You don’t put your anxiety in your rucksack when you get on your bike for the commute,” says Georgie Harman.
While families and friends of people who suffer from the condition have now come to accept that there is an issue, one question still arises; is it safe to talk about being depressed at work? “We still see workplaces where they talk the talk on mental health but when people speak up they’re overlooked for promotion or not put on the stressful project because people think there’ a bit flaky, or worst case scenario, people get walked off the job,” Georgie says.
And when people do speak up about being depressed, they're lauded for being brave which proves that there is still stigma attached to the topic. Steve Ellen, professor of psychiatry at the University of Melbourne says, “It shouldn’t be brave. It should be no different from saying I had the flu and had to take the week off. But we’ve only just moved out of this period of seeing mental illness as abnormal.”
Steve suggested that organisations should take out the time to actually pay heed to the grievances of employees. Apart from this, the employees also need to feel that they're in a safe and non-judgemental environment. He further suggested that the more people spoke about facing mental health issues, the sooner it would be seen as a part of life and not something that you need to be brave to discuss. So, if you suffer from depression or if you know someone who is depressed, help them speak up. It could save their life. Stay tuned for more updates.