Mental Health in the Workplace

Organization(s): World Federation for Mental Health
Author: Elsa M Roman, Fay Jackson, Jeffrey Moat, Joseph Rauch, Louise Bradley, Martin Knapp, Michael Burge, Sabine Bahrer-Kohler, Samantha Thornton, Sara Evans-Lacko, Serene Goh, Valentina Forastieri
Year: 2017
Language: English, Hindi
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One in four adults will experience mental health difficulties, yet prejudice and discrimination are significant barriers that deprive people of their dignity. To make dignity in mental health a reality requires every member of society to work together. It requires action in the community and, importantly, in the workplace.

Our vision, therefore, is to start the discussion so that we can define best practice in promoting mental health in the workplace and create a broad coalition to promote best practice, decrease negative attitudes and discrimination and empower individuals to promote mental health and dignity for all. This focus builds on the recent World Bank’s identification of mental health as a Global Development Priority which recognizes the critical impact mental health has on economic development and well-being. Annual global costs of mental health problems are estimated at USD 2.5 trillion and expected to rise to USD 6 trillion by 2030.

Employment is critical in promoting recovery – for individuals, communities, and nations. However, estimates show that up to 80 percent of individuals with serious mental illnesses are unemployed while 70 percent want to work. In the US alone, it is estimated that major mental health disorders cost the nation at least $193 billion annually in lost earnings alone.

To address these issues, it is imperative to engage businesses, employers, legal rights advocates, unions, mental health providers, families, service users and others to promote meaningful employment for people who experience mental health problems.

Social Protection and Human Rights