Depression is more than just feeling sad; it is a serious health condition that can stop people from living fulfilled lives.

However, having depression does not mean you can’t work. Meaningful, engaging work can often help people with depression to better manage their symptoms. It can also help people develop an expanded network of friends and support.

What is depression?

Depression is a common mental health condition that the World Health Organisation estimates affects approximately 280 million people of all ages worldwide.

There is no one cause of depression – it could occur because of circumstances, genetics or personality, illness or disability, or substance abuse.

While people will experience some of the symptoms of depression from time to time, anyone who feels sad or miserable for several weeks without relief should refer to the Beyond Blue anxiety and depression checklist. Other symptoms include withdrawing from family and friends, underperforming at work or school, lacking confidence, excessive alcohol use or drugs, and suicidal thoughts.

Working while managing depression.

Depression can affect anyone at some time in their life, but that doesn’t mean a person who lives with depression can’t have a successful working life.

At AimBig Employment, we strongly believe that anxiety and depression – which often go hand in hand – should not impede a successful and fulfilling working life. We understand the challenges that people with mental health issues face in their everyday lives, particularly seeking employment.

Our job coaches work with people who have a wide range of disabilities, including mental health disorders, and help them to:

  • Build confidence and resilience
  • Develop better relationships
  • Improve the tasks and activities associated with daily living
  • Attend appointments, social functions, and community activities

People with depression may feel they lack the right skills to get a job – particularly a job they might enjoy. But being out of work can often exacerbate symptoms of depression.

At AimBig, we can work with people with depression to identify and consolidate their strengths and help them find the right job for them. We also have links to employers who are willing to employ people with disability, including those who experience challenges with their mental health. We can support you through the application process and work with employers to establish the right working conditions for you.

People with depression do not need to disclose this when applying for work, but it can help to establish open and honest communications.

There are benefits for employers too. People with depression often find they can alleviate their symptoms by focusing on other tasks or immersing themselves in doing something worthwhile – particularly something that helps others. So, employers could find that their employees with depression are sometimes among their hardest workers!

What is the right job for me?

Disability Services Australia sets out several things anyone with depression should consider when job hunting.

One key aspect is to work with your depression, not against it – find a job that adds to your self-worth by using and improving your skills and helping you feel good about yourself.

Careers that involve physical activity and social interaction are well-suited to people with depression, as are jobs that clearly define goals and achievements. Helping others can also go a long way to lifting the general mood for someone with depression.

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