Thursday, January 14, 2016
January 25, 2016, will be the most depressing day of the year. Why is this true? Does it have any implications for supervisors in managing employees and their performance? Good question. The specific date changes year to year, but the third Monday in January has been coined Blue Monday. There is nothing scientific about this day being the most depressing day of the year, but nevertheless it has a useful purpose, that being to help people become more aware of depression, its symptoms, and its treatability. The hope in promoting the day is to inspire those needing help to get it. The day was created by a researcher who pointed out that this day represents the gloomiest day because (in the northern hemisphere) it has minimal sunlight, plenty of cold and gloomy weather, and holiday bills coming due—all of those compounded by New Year’s resolutions that have been broken since January 1. The day is a good one for employees to be reminded that the EAP is available and for supervisors to be reminded they should consider referrals as needed. If you don't have a 'real' EAP, you may have a 800# on the back of your insurance card that will direct you to help. In supervisor training courses, helping employees means engaging with them to the extent that you get to know the actual person can discern when it is necessary to refer the employee to the officially sanctioned form of personal help made available by your organization.