"While a certain degree of stress in some situations, such as starting a new job, is perfectly normal, if it is getting out of hand it could be time to consult a professional."

Some personal issues can overwhelm an employee at work. In these cases, organisations need to be doing as much as possible to create a safe environment where these people are supported.

In particular, mental illness can affect an employee's well-being, changing the way they interact with other members of an organisation and people in their personal life. In these cases, they may be selective when it comes to finding someone with whom to talk. With employee assistance programmes, people have access to confidential and trained support in these times of need.

According to research from the Mental Health Foundation, around 16 per cent of New Zealand adults are struggling with these issues. That is more than half a million people that could benefit from professional assistance.

How many New Zealanders suffer from depression? The same report from the Mental Health Foundation revealed that anxiety and depressive disorders are some of the most common mental health issues faced by New Zealanders.

More than 14 per cent of people around the country have been diagnosed with a disorder at least once in the past, but these trends change notably when applied to different demographics.

The Mental Health Foundation found that women are much more susceptible to these issues than men. Where almost 18 per cent of New Zealand women have been diagnosed with depression at least once in their lives, the figure for men is just over 10 per cent. Anxiety disorders followed a similar trend, affecting significantly more women.

What are the effects of depression? A study produced by the Ministry of Health found there are further effects to depression than just the immediate symptoms. The organisation discovered these disorders are one of the most significant contributors to 'health loss' around the country. Health loss refers to the amount of time spent feeling well people miss out on through injury or illness.

The Ministry of Health advocates the use of support services in organisations to limit the negative effects of these illnesses.

Depression.org.nz detailed some of the symptoms of depressive and anxiety disorders that should prompt employees to seek specialist help. One warning sign the organisation believes should prompt people to act is the feeling they can't handle stress.

While a certain degree of stress in some situations - such as starting a new job - is perfectly normal, if it is getting out of hand it could be time to consult a professional.

OCP's network of trained and registered counsellors provides organisations with a service that helps employees in these situations. Contact the team to find out how we can help.

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