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8 May, 2012

European Campaign to Fight Depression in the Workplace


LONDON, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — This Labour Day, the European Depression Association (EDA) launched an EU-wide campaign to make the fight against depression at work a European priority and urging the public to show their support for this important cause by visiting http://www.europeandepressionday.com. The EDA launched the campaign with an “Open letter” to MEPs and policy makers calling for depression to be a priority in all policies impacting workers, in particular in the forthcoming EU Strategy on Health & Safety at Work (2013-2020).

More than 1 in 10 EU citizens suffer from depression at some point in their life and they commonly experience symptoms such as lack of attention, memory loss and difficulty planning and taking decisions (up to 94% of those with depression experience these symptoms). According to the World Health Organisation, depression is one of the most debilitating conditions and the burden of depression is predicted to become the greatest cause of disability by 2030.

The socio-economic costs of depression are significant and impact upon families, health systems, society and the economy at large. The tangible cost of mood disorders in Europe was estimated at €113.4 billion in 2010 and the full burden is still not recognized. Indeed, the majority of costs (€72 billion/63%) are indirect such as lost productivity; e.g. lower performance at work and sick leave. In addition, only half of all patients are being diagnosed and only half of all patients with a diagnosis receive adequate treatment.

The EDA is calling on the public to show their support for this campaign by visiting http://www.europeandepressionday.com to:

Dr Vincenzo Costigliola, President of EDA, commented: With 20 million Europeans of working age suffering from depression, a major economic crisis to overcome and a demographic challenge ahead, fighting depression at work is more important than ever. We are urging the public to join our campaign to make this issue a European priority.

The EDA is an alliance of organisations, patients, researchers and healthcare professionals from 17 countries across Europe.  Each year EDA organises European Depression Day to raise awareness of depression across Europe. The EDA is sponsored by the European Medical Association, International Scientific Association, Centro Lombardo Recuperi Industriali, L.A. Nuova Stampa and H. Lundbeck A/S.