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Handling work-related depression for a stress free life

2nd May 2012 Print

Stress in the workplace is a reality for many people across the UK, it doesn't discriminate on the grounds of age, mental strength or the type or work involved. Employers have a duty of care towards their employees as stress and the depression that often results from it has a debilitating effect on all aspects of life. Employers should be aware of their responsibilities to ensure that any stressful situations that may arise are identified and employees know what assistance is available to support them.

How to Handle Work-Related Stress and Depression If the causes of stress and depression are the unreasonable demands of an employer, there are many ways to help deal with and alleviate the problem.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and depressed, the first avenue to explore should be to speak to someone at work, such as a trusted colleague, manager or HR representative. Talking about it can help to identify the issues and provide solutions, such as dealing with certain situations differently or having responsibilities transferred to other team members.

If talking to someone at work does not yield positive results or action within a reasonable amount of time, external professional help is an alternative option. If performance levels have been slipping for some time, employees can often find themselves being reviewed and challenged by their managers. In extreme cases, this can lead to disciplinary action, which in some instances can lead to dismissal. Professional advice should be sought and employees should be aware that unfair dismissal solicitors are willing to take on cases in which depression and stress has come about as a result of workplace pressures.

Consulting a specialist solicitor will help you to deal with the legal side of things, but it is important to be aware of other potential problems. Steps should be taken to help prevent any issues that could exacerbate feelings of depression. It can be easy to turn to alcohol or other substances when depressed to help block out whatever is going on at work, but this should be avoided at all costs as it can lead to other problems with relationships with family, friends and work colleagues.

What Should Employers Do?

It is in the best interests of an employer to put in place processes to help their employees manage stressful situations and avoid long-term depression. Although stress cannot be totally eliminated from the workplace, there are ways to minimise the risk.

Holding regular review meetings with employees can help managers identify any potential problems at an early stage. Once an issue has been identified, the employer should take action to support the individual as much as possible.

Ensure that workers are not working too many additional hours. Working overtime is a reasonable request for most employees, but this should be the exception rather than the norm. Adequate rest and relaxation will help employees come into work feeling refreshed and ready for another day.

Time off in lieu, extra payments for weekend work or general overtime undertaken are all options available to make employees feel valued and help them lead a stress-free life inside and outside of their workplace.

This post was composed by Zoe on behalf of Hibberts Crewe solicitors. She is looking to show her knowledge and enthusiasm by blogging on various topics throughout the web.