Mental health in the workplace
Mental health in the workplace is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017. World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health.
During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.
Work is good for mental health but a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems.
Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
Harassment and bullying at work are commonly reported problems, and can have a substantial adverse impact on mental health.
There are many effective actions that organizations can take to promote mental health in the workplace; such actions may also benefit productivity.
Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability, with many of these people also suffering from symptoms of anxiety. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity. Unemployment is a well-recognized risk factor for mental health problems, while returning to, or getting work is protective. A negative working environment may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity. Workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and benefit from associated economic gains.
This information sheet addresses mental health and disorders in the workplace. It also covers difficulties that may be created or exacerbated by work such as stress and burnout. Learn more here.