The role of depression in returning to work

This report presents the findings of a study into the role of depression in returning to work after a period of sickness absence, carried out by Loughborough University and funded by the Mental Health Foundation.

The study examined the role of depression in returning to work after a period of sickness absence across four types of chronic illnesses: depression and anxiety, back pain, heart disease and cancer.

The report shows that almost half (45%) of those with a physical condition experienced mild to moderate depression, but were more worried about telling their employer about their mental health issues than their cancer or heart disease. Despite the fact that depression impacted on their well-being and ability to function at work, most felt unable to tell their line managers about the difficulties they were facing.

The study also found that while most line managers were initially supportive when a person returned to work, they were not aware of the long-term effects of a serious physical illness or condition upon an employee’s ability to work and mental health.

Download the report https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/returning-to-work-exec-summary/