Working With Depression, Part II: Finding and Funding Effective Treatment
The previous article demonstrated that mental illness is an expensive, sprawling problem in the American workplace. The good news is that modern treatments are varied and highly effective. Treatment of depression, in particular, has helped a large proportion of patients because of advances in the use of medications and/or psychotherapy.
Over the last 10 years, nine new antidepressants were released in the U.S. These drugs, primarily falling into a category known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have worked well with more tolerable side effects, greater safety and simpler dosing than their predecessors. Consequently, their use has resulted in better patient compliance and improved physician utilization. Similar advances have occurred in the adoption of newer methods of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which are now more structured and time limited.
Still, employers have a right, even a responsibility, to question approaches to mental health.