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Work and depression in economic organizations: the need for action

Harry Gray (Visiting Professor in Labour Market Development at the University of Chester, Chester, UK.)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to raise concerns about how depression in the work place is too often overlooked and to identify what needs to be done to benefit individuals and organizations affected.


This paper defines the contexts, drivers and consequences of depression at work and goes on to identify some of the actions that need to be taken to support individuals and limit the impact on organizations and society.


There is a need for much better identification and care around depressions at work than is the case. Not only should GPs be more aware of depression as a work related issue, but organizations should note that much of their dysfunctionality is caused by depressed workers. It is proposed that serious attention be given to providing systematic and universal support by both employers and the NHS to deal with this great personal and economic matter.

Practical implications

The paper should lead to further action by all the players in this aspect of the labor market.


The value of this paper is to raise the profile of an issue, depression, that is not talked about sufficiently but that has huge personal and organizational impacts. The reader is invited to consider the suggestions for action within their own organizations.



Gray, H. (2008), "Work and depression in economic organizations: the need for action", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 9-11.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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