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You are here: Home > Distressed Faculty & Staff > Specific Problems > The Depressed Employee

The Depressed Employee

De­pressed individuals show a multitude of symptoms, e.g., guilt, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy, as well as physical symptoms such as decreased or increased appetite, difficulty staying asleep or awake, early awak­ening, and low interest in daily activities.  They show low activity levels because everything is an effort and they have little energy.



  • Let the employee know you are aware of the change in her/his behavior and you would like to help.
  • Reach out more than halfway and normalize the occurrence of low mood in today’s society.  Encourage interaction with others. 
  • Tell the employee of your concern, using specific examples e.g., "I was concerned when you fell asleep on the job today".
  • Ask the employee directly if you suspect that she/he is suicidal. (See section: Danger Signals for Severe Depression or Potential Suicidal Be­havior.)  



  • Say, "Don't worry," "Crying won't help," or "Everything will be better to­morrow."
  • Be afraid to ask whether the employee is suicidal if you think she/he may be.
by sebenl99 — last modified Jan 28, 2013 01:24 PM