“We have to get rid of the taboo about depression”

“We have to get rid of the taboo about depression”

The purpose economy cannot stand without political support. Maggie De Block, Belgian Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health agrees, but also points out the political challenges. “When talking about public health, we often have to make rational choices in an emotional context. That’s hard”, she explains.

Purpose economy can be achieved in many ways. One of these ways is ensuring good health of your employees and clients. When talking about ‘clients’, this purpose questions specifically the high prices of particular medicines, medical treatments and hospitals. As minister of Social Affairs and Public Affairs, Maggie De Block gets confronted with these questions on a daily base.

De Block agrees that everyone wants to keep their loved ones alive, no matter the costs. “But meanwhile, everyone counts on our social health system”, Maggie De Block says. And that leads politicians in making hard choices. The minister explains that she often has to make rational choices in an emotional context. “We have to look to the chances of succeeding when starting a particular medical treatment”, De Block explains.

When talking about the purpose for employees, the topic shifts to one particular but well known social problem: the increase of burnouts and depressions among Belgians. About this topic, De Block is very clear:

“If you have a gap in your resume, it’s better to say that you have been sailing for a year than stating you did not feel well psychologically for a while. Among employers, we have to get rid of this taboo about depression”

Public health is an important issue trying to achieve purpose in our economy. Politicians like Maggie De Block know that. And with reason: our society needs to be prepared for the health issues we are facing today.

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