Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Business

The depressing cost of mental health

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 - 02:18

Nov. 4 - It costs an estimated 92 billion euros in lost productivity every year and now some of Europe's biggest firms, including BT, Deutsche Post and Royal Mail, have got together to try and tackle depression in the workplace. Hayley Platt meets a senior Unilever executive who's battled mental illness.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Geoff McDonald is a Vice President at the global consumer goods giant Unilever. He also suffers from depression. His first anxiety attack happened five years ago. It kept him off work for 2 months. SOUNDBITE: Geoff McDonald, Global Vice President of Human Resources, Unilever, saying (English): "I was kind of anxious and depressed and it played itself out in things like no appetite, I couldn't read the newspaper. I couldn't read stories that were of a negative nature. I was anxious about my children and where they were all the time." Depression is a massive problem world-wide. In Europe, it's estimated one in ten workers are affected. In Spain 1 in 5. And it's a similar figure in France. It's costing Europe's businesses an estimated 92 billion euros in lost productivity every year. Now some of Europe's largest employers including BT, Deutsche Post and Royal Mail have vowed to tackle depression head on. John Duncan is Group HR Director at Royal Mail. SOUNDBITE: John Duncan, Group HR Director, Royal Mail, saying (English): "I think what we need to do is de-stigmatise mental illness. It's the same as any other type of illness whether an injury sustained, cancer, heart disease. Mental illness is a disease and just requires a different approach in terms of rehabilitation and reintegration into the workplace." The workplace can often be where depression starts. A recent survey showed that UK workers are the unhappiest in Europe. Only two-thirds of British workers are satisfied with their current employer. Most blamed long hours, low pay and a lack of appreciation. SOUNDBITE: Geoff McDonald, Global Vice President of Human Resources, Unilever, saying (English): "Often a trigger to depression can be no feedback, not knowing how you're performing at work and these are not difficult things for leaders to do, to say to someone 'Hey, well done! You've done a wonderful job!' and just give them a bit of feedback." The initiative aims to help businesses reduce the financial impact of mental illness. The group held its first meeting last month. It made identifying and supporting sufferers one of its priorities. SOUNDBITE: John Duncan, Group HR Director, Royal Mail, saying (English): "This can be money very well spent, if it prevents an employee from a lengthy absence." Geoff is now happy in his work and at home. But millions of others aren't - and many are suffering in silence - too embarrassed to seek help.

The depressing cost of mental health

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 - 02:18

Money »

S&P 500 just shy of record S&P 500 just shy of record

Wed, Aug 20, 2014 - (2:23)

Apple hits $100 a share Apple hits $100 a share

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - (2:06)

Nasdaq closes at 14-year high Nasdaq closes at 14-year high

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - (2:23)

Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (2:10)

We've become a promotional culture-RetailMeNot's Bodge We've become a promotional...

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (4:39)

Dow back to positive territory for year Dow back to positive territory for year

Wed, Aug 13, 2014 - (2:18)

Markets cheer Russia's Ukraine exit Markets cheer Russia's Ukraine exit

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (1:50)

Russia, Iraq push Dow to three-month low Russia, Iraq push Dow to three-month low

Thu, Aug 07, 2014 - (2:27)

Wall Street gains but telecom disconnected Wall Street gains but telecom disconnected

Wed, Aug 06, 2014 - (2:28)

Stocks zapped by energy weakness Stocks zapped by energy weakness

Tue, Aug 05, 2014 - (2:46)

Stocks recover with refocus on earnings Stocks recover with refocus on earnings

Mon, Aug 04, 2014 - (2:19)

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, May 27, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, May 08, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, May 05, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - (7:38)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)

The week that changed Boston The week that changed Boston

Mon, Apr 14, 2014 - (3:28)