A new initiative to help HR professionals tackle the
devastating effects of workplace depression

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Our report

Business leaders share new insights on workplace depression

Our new report outlines the challenges some organisations face in managing depression in the workplace. ‘Depression in the Workplace in Europe: A report featuring new insights from business leaders’ also shares examples of progressive steps taken by employers to tackle depression and maintain a healthy working environment. It also highlights the importance of creating a ‘new openness’ about mental health and especially depression in the workplace.

Download our special report


Download our press release


“Cognition is the ignition of productivity and
innovation in the global brain-based economy.
And depression attacks that vital asset.”
Bill Wilkerson, Chair, HR Leadership Forum to Target Depression in the Workplace

About us

It’s time to act!

The HR Leadership Forum to Target Depression in the Workplace is guided by senior HR and corporate health and medical executives from major European employers alongside international organisations working on health, labour and employment issues. Together the Forum will recommend concrete tools and resources that will enable HR professionals:



Today’s global economy puts a premium on cerebral, or brain, skills. Depression attacks cognition, for example the ability to make decisions, remember things and concentrate. Workers experience cognitive symptoms up to 94% of the time during an episode of depression, affecting quality of life and the ability to function professionally and socially.1

Depression presents a significant burden on the workplace:

It’s time to act.

1 Conradi HJ et al. Psychol Med 2011; 41: 1165-1174.
2 Depression Factsheet. WHO Last accessed March 2014
3 World Health Organization. The global burden of disease. Available at: Last update 2004.
4 IDEA: Impact of Depression at Work in Europe Audit Final report. Ipsos Healthcare. October 2012
5 Stewart WF et al. JAMA, 2003, 289 (23): 3135 – 3144.
6 Olesen J et al. Eur J Neurol 2012; 19: 155-162.
7 Rush AJ et al. Am J Psychiatry 2006; 163(11):1905-17.
8 Evans-Lacko S, Knapp M. Importance of Social and Cultural Factors for Attitudes, Disclosure and Time off Work for Depression: Findings from a Seven Country European Study on Depression in the Workplace. PLOS One. 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091053


Who’s involved?

The HR Leadership Forum’s advisory group is chaired by Bill Wilkerson, Executive Chair of Mental Health International. John Duncan, former Group Head of HR at Royal Mail and an experienced HR practitioner is Vice-Chair. The advisory group comprises senior human resource (HR) and corporate health leaders from some of the largest businesses in Europe.


Bill Wilkerson



John Duncan



The International Labour Organization ( is also represented on the Forum’s Advisory Group



Target Depression in the Workplace is sponsored, but not owned by H. Lundbeck A/S. Target Depression in the Workplace is owned by Mental Health International.
Secretariat services are provided by Ogilvy HealthPR

“Mental health is the dominant workplace health
issue of our time. Work can either be beneficial
or harmful to mental health and employers can
make a major contribution to the wellbeing of
society by their actions.”
Dr Paul Litchfield BT Group Chief Medical Officer and Director Wellbeing, Inclusion, Safety & Health

Latest updates

New report showcases top business’ solutions to tackle depression in the workplace

A group of major European employers today launch a report featuring fresh insights into the fight against depression in the workplace. Up to 55% of employees diagnosed with depression in Europe take time off work due to the illness – equating to more than 38 million people. BT Group plc, Deutsche Post DHL, H. Lundbeck A/S, […]

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Innovative solutions to tackle depression in the workplace put forward

Senior HR representatives from some of Europe’s largest corporations met at the International Labour Organization in Geneva recently, committed to finding new ways to address the enormous issue of depression in the workplace. Costs to European workplaces due to depression are estimated at £77 billion annually, according to a new study published in March by […]

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Depression costs European businesses £77 billion

Employers need to take a more proactive approach to employees with depression in the wake of figures showing mental illness now costs European workplaces an estimated £77 billion a year. The greatest economic loss is through absenteeism and lost productivity, according to a new report by the London School of Economics and Political Science and […]

Read more

“ A company’s employees are the most valuable
capital. A healthy workplace and active leadership
contributes to employee satisfaction, and in turn
company satisfaction and long-term success.”


If you would like to get involved in the HR Leadership Forum to Target Depression in the Workplace, want more information or have a question, we’d really like to hear from you.





Or feel free to contact us directly via the ‘Target Depression’ secretariat, Ogilvy Health PR:

Please note that the information on this website is not a substitute for medical advice and enquiries may not be monitored for regularly. If you are in crisis, concerned about an immediate risk of harm or don’t feel safe, please seek assistance from a healthcare professional.