When someone commits suicide they are indescribably distraught and filled with pain. Suicide, a method of death nobody wants to talk about, becomes the victim’s tragic version of a pain reliever. Severe depression is the silent assassin of an employee’s life. Depression also severely impacts employee productivity.
“Sometimes, what a person needs is not a brilliant mind that speaks, but a patient heart that listens.” -Unknown
Your employee leaves one evening and never returns. You didn’t see the signs of depression. As a leader, maybe you could have been personally supportive rather than expecting only results without concern for his well-being. Show care and concern for those you work with every day. Pause and think if you have noticed a change in their behavior.
15 Signs of Depression at Work
#1 Lower productivity
#2 Lower morale
#3 Problems with cooperation
#4 Takes safety risks or has an accident
#5 Starts missing work
#6 Talks about aches and pains
#7 Appears to be routinely tired
#8 Excessive crying
#9 Alcohol and drug abuse
#10 Sudden loss or weight gain
#11 Sad or empty mood
#12 Difficulty concentrating, becomes forgetful
#14 Irritable or persistently agitated
#15 Talks about or passively mentions suicide
When you see a combination of these signs it would be better to privately tell them you care for them as a person and ask if there is anything you can do to help them. You do not have to be a medical professional to be concerned about a coworker’s health. Diagnosis and treatment, however, should be left to a professional.
Your human resource team should be able to help with a referral to a mental health provider, employee assistance plan or a caring community service program that can be helpful, respectful and accommodating.