The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 12 billion working days are lost each year due to depression and anxiety, costing the global economy almost a trillion dollars.
Depression in workers cost world economy
The WHO World Mental Health Report, published in June 2022, showed that of the one billion people living with a mental disorder in 2019, 15% of working-age adults experienced a mental disorder.
In its report on mental health at work in which they recommend measures to deal with mental health risks, such as heavy workload, negative behaviours and other factors that generate distress at work. That document said that nearly a billion people around the world lived with a mental disorder before the covid-19 pandemic, which further aggravated the situation.
The work amplifies broader social issues that negatively affect mental health, such as discrimination and inequality. Intimidation and psychological violence (also known as “mobbing”) are the key workplace bullying complaints that have a negative impact on mental health.
However, discussing or disclosing mental health remains taboo in workplaces around the world.
It’s time to focus on the detrimental effect work can have on our mental healthDr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General.
“The well-being of the individual is reason enough to act, but poor mental health can also have a debilitating impact on a person’s performance and productivity. These new guidelines can help prevent negative work situations and cultures and offer much-needed mental health protection and support for workers.”Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
“As people spend much of their lives at work, a safe and healthy work environment is essential. We need to invest in building a culture of prevention for mental health at work, reforming the work environment to end stigma and social exclusion, and ensure that employees with mental health conditions feel protected and supported”.Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
Discrimination and inequality
However, discussing or disclosing mental health remains taboo in professional circles around the world, it was warned.
The guidelines also recommend giving more consideration to the needs of workers with mental disorders, offering interventions that promote their return to work and, for those with severe mental disorders, providing interventions that facilitate access to paid employment.
Shortage of mental health resources
COVID-19 caused a 25 per cent increase in general anxiety and depression worldwide, highlighting the unpreparedness of governments to deal with its impact on mental health and revealing a chronic shortage of global mental health resources.
According to the WHO Mental Health Atlas, only 35% of countries report having national programs for the promotion and prevention of work-related mental health.
In 2020, governments around the world spent an average of just 2 per cent of health budgets on mental health, with lower-middle income countries spending less than 1.0 per cent.
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