Tim Hillier was outwardly a success during his three years as an investment analyst at National Australia Bank. Less successful, though, were his attempts at dealing with depression, and his attempts to convey his issues to managers.
”They wanted to help me but they did not know how,” he says. After taking almost 18 months off work due to depression, the 33-year-old quit the bank in 2011. Since then, Mr Hillier has pondered why even the biggest Australian companies are ill-equipped to deal with depression and anxiety. New research into the stigma surrounding depression in Australian workplaces may help explain why.
The national survey, by charity Sane Australia, has shown that almost 50 per cent of workers have taken time off because of depression and half of that number have kept the reason hidden from their employer.
Sane Australia on Tuesday will convene a meeting in Sydney of 35 researchers, government agencies, businesses and not-for-profit groups, to devise new ways of tackling depression in the workplace.