Depression and anxiety-related illnesses in NHS staff

The Edinburgh Evening News reported the following story about depression and anxiety amongst NHS Lothian staff.

STRESSED OUT workers at NHS Lothian missed more than 17,000 days due to depression and anxiety-related illnesses last year as absences rose by almost a quarter to record levels, according to new figures.

Nursing and midwifery staff accounted for more than half the time lost, missing more than 223,000 hours.

The figures have prompted calls for an in-house counselling service to be “extended” to meet growing demand.

The findings, made available through freedom of information legislation, found under-pressure staff missed more than 400,000 hours – the equivalent of 47 years – of work in the period between 2016 and 2017; a 24 per cent rise on the previous 12 months.

It means stress and anxiety-related illnesses are now the largest cause of staff absences at the health board, accounting for more than one per cent of all days missed over the last year.

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From the BBC: Hayley Smith says her manager encouraged her to apply for other jobs when she told her she had depression.
The news about her illness spread across the office. “It was horrible – I felt really exposed,” she says. After a few anxious, unhappy months, she left.
Hayley is one of up to 300,000 people with mental health problems who leave their jobs each year, a report says.
The report by mental health experts also says poor mental health costs the UK economy up to £99bn each year.
Paul Farmer, co-author of the Thriving At Work report, said mental health was a taboo subject in many workplaces.

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