It is good to talk: new research from the LSE

Employees who feel able to speak openly about their depression with their managers are more productive at work than employees whose managers avoid talking to them about their condition, says new research from the London School of Economics.  The research included both employee and manager experiences in 15 countries including the UK.

Dr Sara Evans Lacko, Associate Professorial Research Fellow and co-author of the paper, said: “Mental illnesses, including depression, have a huge personal and economic impact. Our research shows that where employers create a culture of avoidance around talking about depression, employees themselves end up avoiding work and even when they return to work they are not as productive as they could be. Such situations could be transformed by managers providing more proactive support to people dealing with these issues.”

“Depression is an invisible illness and, up to a certain point, people can conceal it. A manager might recognise that an employee’s performance is suffering but not the reason behind that, or they may feel that the issue is too taboo to discuss openly. More training and better workplace policies could help managers to recognise symptoms sooner and provide support – helping the individual and reducing the cost to employers at the same time.”

You can read the full article in the BMJ here.