Mental illness is a growing problem in society
and is increasingly affecting productivity and well being in the workplace,
according to a new OECD report. It says that one in five workers suffer from a
mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, and many are struggling to cope.
Three in four workers with a mental disorder
report reduced productivity at work, compared to one in four workers without a
mental disorder. Work absences are also much more frequent for workers with
mental illness, and about 30% to 50% of all new disability benefit claims in
OECD countries are now attributed to mental ill health.
The report challenges some of the myths around
mental health and concludes that insurers and policymakers need to look for new
solutions. Increasing job insecurity and pressure in today's workplaces could
drive a rise in mental health problems in the years ahead, says the OECD. The
share of workers exposed to work-related stress, or job strain, has increased
in the past decade.
To help sufferers, a new approach is needed in
the workplace. This includes good working conditions which reduce and better
manage stress; systematic monitoring of sick leave behaviour; and help to
employers to reduce workplace conflicts and avoid unnecessary dismissal caused
by mental health problems.
Many private medical insurance policies either
exclude or offer limited cover for mental health issues. Using the
term-psychological treatment – as many do-is out of date in how many mental
health issues are treated.
Private medical insurance news: 23 December 2011