An even better way to work depression discussions into meetings is to make nurse health a standing agenda item; Letvak says one meeting might invite a physical therapist to talk about nursing and back pain; another might address depression symptoms and resources. Hospitals should also consider sponsoring workshops to teach skills that are shown to help with depression, such as mediation and reflective journaling.
Although depression continues to carry a societal stigma, Letvak says nurses and nurse leaders should give the condition as much credence as physical ailments.
"We all knew about our back problems, but I don't think we ever look at the mental health component," she says. "There are some solutions though…problems don't go away when they're ignored."