health and stress in the workplace is a subject that too many employers and
insurers shy away from.
illness is a growing problem in society and is increasingly affecting
productivity and well being in the workplace. OECD in a new 2012 report “Myths
and Realities about Mental Health and Work” says that one in five workers
suffer from a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, and many are struggling
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.
report challenges some of the myths around mental health and concludes that
policymakers need to look for new solutions. Most people with a mental disorder
work, with employment rates of between 55% to 70%; about 10 to 15 % points
lower than for people without a disorder.
with a mental disorder are two to three times as likely to be unemployed as
people with no disorders. This gap represents a major loss to the economy, as
well as for the individuals and their families.
job insecurity and pressure in today’s workplaces could drive a rise in mental
health problems in the years ahead. The share of workers exposed to
work-related stress, or job strain, has increased in the past decade all across
the OECD. And in the current economic climate, more and more people are worried
about their job security.
and early intervention is key as half of all mental disorders start in
adolescence. Young people in many countries increasingly enter the disability
benefit system without having spent much time in the workforce. This means that
the population claiming disability benefits is getting younger in most
countries. Once dependent on such benefit, it becomes difficult to relinquish
sufferers, a new approach is needed, especially 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.
common mental disorders can get better, and the employment chances be improved,
with adequate treatment. But health systems in most countries are narrowly
focused on treating people with severe disorders, such as schizophrenia, who
make up only one-fourth of sufferers. Taking more common disorders more
seriously would boost the chances for people to stay in, or return to, work.
Today, almost 50% of those with a severe mental disorder and over 70% of those
with a moderate mental disorder do not receive any treatment for their illness.
Private medical insurance news: 9 February 2012