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Out of the workplace and into depression
I’ve written many times about some depressing places I used to work at. If I think about it, every place has been, in one way or another, depressing — some more than others. I’m probably the common denominator here, not the places necessarily. I do get the blues. But I also feel that not many workplaces offer the kind of environment that is sensitive to a person undergoing stress and difficulty. It would be impossible to implement mental health checks at work — and who would really want to tell their boss how he or she feels? Most people would lie about their well-being anyway. At the same time, it’s important for management to listen to employees’ concerns because spotty attendance and bad performance due to mental health issues doesn’t benefit anyone. Still, people who feel listened to in their workplace can make a lot of sacrifices – for example, I’ve come to peace with working in a windowless office. I don’t love it but I know my concern has been heard (many times — thanks, boss!) and that makes me feel less bothered. And, in turn, I write such beautiful blogs like this one instead of crying in the bathroom.
Jan Wong, formerly of The Globe and Mail is known for being an outspoken and fearless journalist. I’ve enjoyed the series she wrote for the paper a few years ago after going undercover to work as a maid in Toronto (that series became a cause of one of the disputes she had with her workplace). Wong quit The Globe and has now come out with a memoir about that that is outlined in the Macleans article Jan Wong dishes on depression in the workplace. It seems that one of the major issues was Wong’s sense of betrayal and even though she admits to the illness skewing some of her perceptions, she’s adamant about exposing the issue of workplace depression in her new memoir.
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