Depression rife among Japanese workers

Around 60 percent of female workers and 50 percent of male employees at small and medium-size companies suffer from depression, according to a survey released recently by a health ministry research group.

The results of the survey suggest that stress in the workplace is severely affecting the mental state of employees.

Of the 11,976 employees surveyed by the group in December and January, 43.9 percent of female workers said they suffer from slight depression.

Another 16.2 percent said they suffer from moderate to severe depression.

Among male respondents, 38.7 percent complained of slight depression while 11 percent said they suffer from moderate to severe depression.

Asked whether they had recently had any suicidal thoughts, 12 percent of the female respondents and 9.5 percent of male respondents said they had.

These respondents cited working conditions and human relations at their workplaces, along with economic and family matters, as factors behind their morbid thoughts, according to the survey.

According to the latest preliminary report on unemployment, Japan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 5.4 percent in August, unchanged since May.