Here's Who Needs to Get Serious About Depression

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Your boss has an outsized effect on your health, physical and mental. The person who's largely in control of the majority of your waking hours five days a week makes a huge difference in whether you're drained or energized throughout. Individual personalities are important, but gender plays a big role in that cause-and-effect too.

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Public health researchers in Sweden have just released a study about attitudes toward mental health in the workplace, specifically, how managers feel about their employees and depression. About one-quarter of male bosses surveyed said they have negative attitudes about depression, twice that of female respondents. These bosses said "that they felt uncertain around coworkers with depression, that these employees were a burden on the workplace, and that these employees should not work while on medication."

None of that is true, in general, but it does mean that a significant number of supervisors ought to take it on themselves to clear the air on worker mental health. We knew before the pandemic that workplaces are bad for many of us, so much so that employee burnout is now literally a medical diagnosis. Most of us, in fact, don't want to go back to offices full-time once COVID is in the rearview.

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There are things we can do on an individual basis to keep ourselves going, but there are bigger structural issues afoot. For now, it's important that everyone try to create healthy company cultures — and to take our colleagues seriously when they show signs of being down.

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