Depression can Kill


Many of us woke up this morning to the tragic news of the death of Robin Williams, age 63. Equally devastating was the suggestion that he had committed suicide.

Person feeling alone on a bench

Robin Williams' shows and films garnered world-wide respect. From Mork and Mindy to Mrs Doubtfire and unforgettable cinematic experiences such as Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting and Good Morning Vietnam, Robin Williams was a solid actor who impressed equally in comedic as well as dramatic roles.

Off screen, Robin Williams' battles with alcohol and drugs were well known.

Less well known, however, was his battle with depression. News reports are categorising his depression as severe and most commentators have already linked his depression to the suicide.

Society has never acknowledged mental health issues in the same way as physical impairments. However, the tragic case of Robin Williams highlights the sad truth that depression can kill.

More people than we realise are suffering with varying degrees of depression in the UK today.

Stress, Depression and Anxiety

According to the Office for National Statistics, problems such as stress, depression and anxiety contributed to 15.2 million working days lost due to sickness absence in the UK in 2013.

Those who have depression cite a wide range of symptoms including, for example, an inability to concentrate, poor memory, fatigue and, yes, thoughts of suicide.

Discrimination at Work

Individuals with depression may be disabled under the Equality Act 2010, in which case employers have a duty not to discriminate against them and, in appropriate cases, to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the disability. Such adjustments could include, for example, varying working hours, re-allocating duties or providing additional support. A package of assistance could make all the difference.

If you are suffering with depression and experiencing discrimination in the workplace or not getting the support you need, don't suffer in silence but, instead, seek advice promptly. You are not alone.

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