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World Health Organization Reports Finding on Mental Health at Work

World Health Organization Reports Finding on Mental Health at Work

Oct. 19, 2022
The study, WHO Guidelines on Mental Health at Work, offers recommendations which can help employers understand the issues.
Recently the World Health Organization released a report, WHO Guidelines on Mental Health at Work, that offers research as well as recommendations on how to deal with the issue of mental health at work. Overview

Recently the World Health Organization released a report that offers research as well as recommendations on how to deal with the issue of mental health at work.

The organization notes that an estimated 15% of working-age adults have a mental disorder at any point in time.

From a cost perspective, depression and anxiety are estimated to cost the global economy US $1 trillion each year driven predominantly by lost productivity.

As “people living with severe mental health conditions are largely excluded from work despite participation in economic activities being important for recovery,” the report’s recommendations are aimed at enabling people with mental health conditions the ability to participate in the workforce.

The report is very thorough and I would highly recommend reading it so for this blog I will just provide what WHO offers as ten categories of psychosocial risk factors for poor mental health (as well as poor physical health) related to the workplace

Work content/task design: e.g. lack of variety or short work cycles, fragmented or meaningless work, under-use of skills, high uncertainty, continuous exposure to people through work;

Workload and work pace: e.g. work overload or under-load, machine pacing, high levels of time pressure, continual subjection to deadlines;

Work schedule: e.g. shift-working, night shifts, inflexible work schedules, unpredictable hours, long or unsociable hours;

Control: e.g. low participation in decision-making, lack of control over workload, pacing, etc.;

Environment and equipment: e.g. inadequate equipment availability, suitability or maintenance; poor environmental conditions such as lack of space, poor lighting, excessive noise;

Organizational culture and function: e.g. poor communication, low levels of support for problem-solving and personal development, lack of definition of, or agreement on, organizational objectives, organizational change; high competition for scarce resources, over-complex bureaucracies;

Interpersonal relationships at work: e.g. social or physical isolation, poor relationships with superiors, interpersonal conflict, harmful work behaviours, lack of (perceived, actual) social support; bullying, harassment, mobbing; microaggressions;

Role in organization: e.g. role ambiguity, role conflict, and responsibility for other people;

Career development: e.g. career stagnation and uncertainty, under-promotion or over-promotion, poor pay, job insecurity, low social value of work;

Home-work interface: e.g. conflicting demands of work and home, including for persons with caregiving responsibilities, low support at home, dual career problems; living at the same site where the work is done, living away from family during work assignments.

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Email [email protected]


Adrienne Selko is also the senior editor at Material Handling and Logistics and is a former editor of IndustryWeek. 




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