Study: Depression treatment pays off

first_imgEmployees who got the aggressive intervention worked on average about two weeks more during the yearlong study than those who got the usual care. The typical approach is to advise such employees to see their doctor or seek a mental-health specialist. Also, more workers in the intervention group were still employed by year’s end – 93 percent versus 88percent – savings that helped employers avoid hiring and training costs, the researchers said. In addition, intervention employees were almost 40 percent more likely to recover from depression during the yearlong study, which is reported in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers haven’t finished a formal cost-benefits analysis but early results suggest savings from more hours worked averaged to about $1,800 per employee. That far exceeds the program’s initial $100 to $400 per-worker cost. The benefits also likely exceed other costs, including drugs and therapy, the researchers said. “We knew before that treating depression makes good medical sense. This suggests that it makes good business sense,” said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the institute. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Lindsey Tanner THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CHICAGO – Investing in depressed employees – quickly getting them treatment and even offering telephone psychotherapy – can cut absenteeism while improving workers’ health, a study suggests. Many employers view mental-health coverage as a financial black hole, but the study shows that spending money on depression is a smart business move, said researcher Dr. Philip Wang. Wang works for the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the study. last_img read more