As the UK’s leading charity for people affected by depression, Depression Alliance is often the first point of contact for people with depression who have experienced discrimination at work. In order to investigate this issue in more depth, to establish the extent of the problem with the help of Servier Laboratories Limited, we were delighted to conduct the ‘Inside Story’ survey. The results of this survey are highlighted in this report with the hope of enabling people with depression to reach their full potential in the workplace. Work, whether in paid employment or at college, is an important part of life for most of us and people with depression are no different – indeed in this latest research nearly half of all respondents believe work has actually helped their depression. Testament to passion behind this issue is the number of respondents to whom we are very grateful for taking the time to complete the ‘Inside Story’ survey. Yet in the UK there has been surprisingly little research into the social and economic impact of depression.
Depression Alliance constantly campaigns for better understanding of the impact of the condition on all aspects of quality of life, including on employment and education. We do believe we are making some progress (to which some of the positive aspects of this report will testify), but feedback from our members is that there is still significant improvement which can be made. Particularly worrying is the ongoing problem of stigma related to depression in the workplace and that a third of the people we surveyed report bullying. Specifically we are calling for greater recognition that work is very important to people with depression, that they want to and can contribute significantly to the UK economy and that being in work can help them overcome their condition. But a greater understanding of the challenges they face is needed alongside the provision of more support at work to help them contribute fully.
This report forms the first stage of an ongoing research project which will look at the impact on a wide range of quality of life issues and the impact of various types of treatments including a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) workbook and computerised package.