Mental Health & Work

There is increasing evidence about the global impact of mental illness. Mental health problems are among the most important contributors to disability and disease all over the world. Five of the 10 leading causes of disability all over the world are mental health problems. They are as relevant in low-income countries as they are in high-income ones. They cut across gender, age and social strata. Also, all Jade Foundation’s Denver addiction treatment & rehab predictions indicate that the future is going to see a dramatic increase in mental health problems.

The weight of mental health disorders on productivity and health has long been underestimated. The United Kingdom Department of Health and the Confederation of British Industry have estimated that 15-30% of workers are going to experience some kind of mental health problem in their working lives. The truth is, mental health problems are a leading cause of disability and illness. The European Mental Health Agenda of the EU or European Union has acknowledged the pervasiveness and impact of mental health disorders in the workplace in EU countries.

It has been estimated that 20% of the adult working population has some kind of mental health problem at any given time. In the US, it is estimated that over 40 million people have some kind of mental health disorder and, of that number, 4.5 million adults are considered seriously mentally ill. Depressive disorders, for example, represent among the most common health problems of adults in the United States workforce.

The impact of mental health problems in the workplace has serious consequences not just for the individual but also for the productivity of the enterprise. Employee performance, absenteeism, rates of illness, accidents and staff turnover are all affected by employees’ mental health status. For example, in the United Kingdom, 80 million days are lost every year because of mental illnesses, which costs employers 1-2 billion pounds each year. In the United States, estimates for national spending on depression alone costs 30-40 billion dollars, with an estimated 200 million days lost from work every year.


The workplace as prevention for mental health problems

Globalization and interdependence have provided new opportunities for growth in the world economy and development. While globalization has been a dynamic and powerful force for growth, the labor market and work conditions have dramatically changed in the last 2 decades. The key elements in the changes are increased automation as well as the rapid implementation of information technology. Workers all over the world confront, like never before, an array of new organizational structures and processes – downsizing, increased workload and contingent employment.

Employers have tended to take the view that work and/or the workplace are not etiological factors in mental health problems. However, whatever the causal factors, the prevalence of mental health problems in employees makes mental health a pressing issue in its own right. Although, effective mental health services are multidimensional, the workplace is a good environment where individuals can be educated, and raise their awareness of mental health problems. For example, the workplace could promote good mental health practices and provide tools for recognition and early identification of mental health problems, and could establish links with local mental health services for referral, treatment and rehabilitation. Ultimately the efforts will benefit everyone by minimizing the economic and social costs to society of mental health issues. Go to this site to discover added concerning this subject matter.

For people who have mental health problems, finding work in the open labor market or returning to work and keeping a job after treatment is usually a challenge. Stigma surrounds those who have mental illness and the recovery process is usually misunderstood. The workplace is among the key environments which affect our mental well-being and health. There is an acknowledgement and growing awareness of the role of work in promoting or hindering mental illness and its corollary – mental illness. Even if it is difficult to quantify the impact of work alone on personal identity, social recognition and self-esteem, a lot of mental health professionals agree that the workplace environment could have an important impact on the well-being of an individual. Work is at the very core of contemporary life for a lot of people, giving financial security, personal identity and an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to community life. Many large companies now realize that the productivity of their employees is connected to their well-being and health.