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More attention being given to mental health of workers

Physical workplace accidents are very high profile. They are relatively easy to see, often come about suddenly and unexpectedly, and can be very damaging to the victim's wellbeing. Yet, mental medical conditions related to work are just as common.

According to a study from Harvard University Medical School, untreated mental illness causes U.S. businesses to lose $105 billion every year in lost productivity. A separate report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that nearly one in every five American adults suffers from some type of mental illness.

Depression is a major cause of lost workplace productivity. Yet, depression and other work related mental illnesses come on gradually, and can be hard to recognize. Two organizations, the American Psychiatric Foundation's Partnership for Workplace Mental Health and the national group of employers Employers Health, have teamed up to spread awareness about workplace depression.

A new initiative from the groups called Right Direction seeks to foster early recognition of symptoms of work-related depression and to fight the stigma associated with seeking treatment for a mental illness. Human resource professionals have applauded the program as a significant step forward in combating a widespread problem.

Most people are aware that workers' compensation benefits are available for those who are put out of work by a physical on-the-job injury. But, there is less awareness about the availability of workers' compensation for mental conditions. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression or another work related mental illness, you should speak to a workers' compensation attorney to learn more.

Source: The City Wire, Workplace mental health focus a growing issue, Ben Pollock, June 4, 2013

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