Monday, September 20, 2010

Tis' the Season to Get SAD: A Review of Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Winter Blues

With the Fall and Winter seasons on the horizon, many of us will start to notice changes in our mood in the coming months. Seasonality is the term used to describe the mild to moderate decrease in positive mood that a significant number of people in the population experience when daylight hours are reduced. For a select portion of population, this decrease in mood will be significant enough to meet criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a form of clinical depression that only occurs with changes in seasons (it almost always occurs during the Fall and Winter period). To help interested readers better understand seasonality and SAD, including the causes and treatment of SAD, I offer the following brief review.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Cost of Mental Health Care in the Workplace: Some Considerations for Businesses

A recent study out of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada, found that mental illness costs $51 billion per year in terms of costs from lost productivity. When an employee of a company develops a mental health problem and is forced to take a leave of absence, it costs the company $18,000 (on average) -- more than any other chronic condition. Hopefully the findings from this study grab the attention of businesses and corporations to take the mental health of their employees seriously.

If I could offer a few tips for managers and executives of businesses in terms of managing the mental health of employees, it would be this: