Mental Health Disorders (Depression) in the Workplace

Depression needs to be recognised by business owners and dealt with by managers, in a compassionate way.

However, managers are often at a loss as to how to approach this issue when employees are suffering from an mental health disorders. In addition, the business owner needs to maintain the business in the face of lost productivity.

Prime Performance has developed a half-day workshop which enables  business owners and managers to assist and support their people through grief, loss, anxiety and depression, while maintaining the business.

Click here for workshop information. For more information please contact us.


Andrew Solomon talks about the struggle that people have with depression. Click on the video to watch.


Some facts about mental health disorders:

  • More than three million people in Australia experience mental health disorders – depression, anxiety – or related alcohol and drug problems each year.9
  • Depression is currently the leading cause of non-fatal disability in Australia1, but only 3 per cent of the population identifies it as a major health problem2.
  • Each year, undiagnosed depression in the workplace costs $4.3 billion in lost productivity and this excludes Workcover/insurance claims, part-time or casual employees, retrenchment, recruitment and training3.
  • On average, every full-time employee with untreated depression costs an organisation $9,665 per year4.
  • Each employee with depression will, on average, take three to four days off work per month which is equivalent to over six million days lost each year in Australia5.
  • In addition to absenteeism, depression accounts for more than 12 million days of reduced productivity each year.
  • Around half (50%) of people with depression don’t get help for it9.
  • Research shows that implementation of early diagnosis and intervention programs can result in a five-fold return on investment as a result of increased employee productivity7.
  • Workplace stress is a significant risk factor for developing depression8.

1 Begg, S., Voc, T., Barker, B., Stevenson, C., Stanley, L., & Lopez, AD. (2007). The burden of disease and injury in Australia 2003. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
2 Highet, N.(2005). beyondblue Depression Monitor. beyondblue: the national depression initiative.
3 Hilton, M. (2004). Assessing the financial return on investment of good management strategies and the WORC Project. The University of Queensland.
4 Hilton, M. (2004). ibid
5 Andrews G, Hall W, Teesson M, and Henderson S. (1999). The Mental Health of Australians. Mental Health Branch, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.
6 Andrews, G (1999). et al, ibid
7 Hilton, M. (2004). ibid
8 VicHealth (2006). Workplace Stress in Victoria: Developing a Systems Approach. Available at
9 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008). 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results (4326.0). Canberra: ABS

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