British workers are the most likely to be diagnosed with depression in Europe, a survey has found. The worrying extent of the illness in the UK was laid bare by the poll that revealed 26 per cent of Britons had received the diagnosis from their GP, compared with 12 per cent of Italians.
Those in the UK also took the most time off as a result of the illness, recording 41 days on average compared with the European mean of 36.
The study from the European Depression Association, also revealed than one in 10 working people in Europe have taken time off because of the debilitating psychological condition, which is equivalent to 21,000 lost working days. In 2010, depression was estimated to cost the EU £73billion.
Despite the size of the problem, nearly one in three managers reported they had no formal support or resources to deal with employees who have depression, and 43 per cent called for better policies and legislation to protect employees.
A quarter of employees with depression said they did not inform their work with many saying they feared it would put their job at risk.
The IDEA survey (Impact of Depression in the Workplace in Europe Audit) polled more than 7,000 people in Europe.
MEP Stephen Hughes said: ‘Depression in the workplace is an employment and societal challenge that is causing serious damage and which requires attention and action from the European Union.’
Depression is the biggest mental health challenge among working-age people, affecting one in five people at some point in their lives.
Jason Thompson | Elite.