Working through depression: Many stay on the job, despite mental illness

May 01, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

National Public Radio

One effect of the March Germanwings crash was to focus public attention on depression, due to speculation about the mental condition of the plane’s pilot. Experts have noted that when a violent act is committed by someone with a mental illness, it increases bias against all people with a mental illness. This can complicate the already sensitive question of whether and how people with depression should disclose this fact about themselves to their coworkers. Susan Goldberg, an assistant professor of psychology at Duquesne University who has researched the effects of disclosing depression, said that while it isn’t good to hide depression, people should be careful about how and to whom they speak about it. She described the importance of seeking support to manage the day-to-day challenges of the condition: “For some people – for most people I would think – having a friend, someone you can trust, someone you can say, ‘Geez, today is a really rough day, I’m just struggling to make it through,’ to have that kind of person in your work life would be really important.”

Spark Extra! SPRC’s The Role of Co-Workers in Preventing Suicide offers tips, facts, and resources for the workplace.