Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Managing Depression - a problem for individuals and firms

A major national Australian survey carried out by Beaton Consulting and beyondblue: the national depression initiative studied depression in the professions. The survey, designed by beyondblue, was integrated into Beaton Consulting's 2007 Annual Professions Study.

Over 17,000 respondents completed the optional depression survey and were compared to a general population sample of 2914. The survey found that professionals and students experience more depressive symptoms than the general population.

When making comparisons between the professions, lawyers were found to experience the highest incidence of depressive symptoms, followed by patent attorneys. It was also found that respondents from law firms were the most likely to use alcohol or other drugs to reduce or manage feelings of sadness and depression. Depressive symptoms, however, were found to diminish with increased age, income and seniority.

More information on the key findings can be found here.

The Junior Lawyers Union blog has recently carried some rather sad stories on the impact of depression. I am not in a position to comment on the truth or otherwise if the individual stories, although the description of firm responses does fit with my own observations. Certainly, the stories illustrate the problems that can arise for individual and firm management.

Posts in this Series

Precursor posts

The Depression series:

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