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Mental Health and Work Sick on the Job?: Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (Complete Edition ‐ ISBN 9789264124523)

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The costs of mental ill‐health for the individuals concerned, employers and society at large are enormous. Mental illness is responsible for a very significant loss of potential labour supply, high rates of unemployment, and a high incidence of sickness absence and reduced productivity at work. In particular, mental illness causes too many young people to leave the labour market, or never really enter it, through early moves onto disability benefit. Today, between one‐third and one‐half of all new disability benefit claims are for reasons of mental ill‐health, and among young adults that proportion goes up to over 70%.   Indeed, mental ill‐health is becoming a key issue for the well‐functioning of OECD's labour markets and social policies and requires a stronger focus on policies addressing mental health and work issues. Despite the very high costs to the individuals and the economy, there is only little awareness about the connection between mental health and work, and the drivers behind the labour market outcomes and the level of inactivity of people with mental ill‐health. Understanding these drivers is critical for the development of more effective policies. This report aims to identify the knowledge gaps and begin to narrow them by reviewing evidence on the main challenges and barriers to better integrating people with mental illness in the world of work.  

Acronyms and abbreviations

Executive Summary

Chapter 1. Measuring Mental Health and its Links with Employment

‐1.1. Introduction

‐1.2. Defining and measuring mental health and ill‐health

‐1.3. Towards a better understanding of the characteristics of mental ill‐health

‐1.4. The rising mental ill‐health challenge for the labour market

‐1.5. Conclusion: a framework for analysis and policy development

Chapter 2. Work, Working Conditions and Worker Productivity

‐2.1. Introduction: employment and the workplace are critical

‐2.2. Employment, unemployment and the economic cycle

‐2.3. The impact of working conditions

‐2.4.Worker productivity as a key challenge

‐2.5. Conclusion: towards productive quality employment

Chapter 3. Mental Health Systems, Services and Supports

‐3.1. Introduction: a multidimensional approach for complex problems

‐3.2.Mental disorders, work functioning and employment

‐3.3. Under‐treatment, adequate treatment and enhanced treatment

‐3.4. Mental health care system challenges

‐3.5. Conclusion: employment as a goal for the mental health system

Chapter 4. Benefit Systems and Labour Market Services

‐4.1. Introduction: responding to the increase in disability benefit claims

‐4.2. Disability benefits: understanding trends, questioning myths

‐4.3.Mental ill‐health as a predictor of disability benefit awards later in life

‐4.4. The role of benefits for people with a mental disorder

‐4.5. Labour market services for people with a mental disorder

‐4.6. Conclusion: towards co‐ordinated action of the social security system

Chapter 5. Education Systems and the Transition to Employment

‐5.1. Introduction: addressing the early onset of mental disorders

‐5.2.Mental health problems among children and youth

‐5.3. The education system

‐5.4. Transition from adolescence to adulthood

‐5.5. Conclusion: helping school‐leavers in their transition to work

Chapter 6. Summary and Conclusions

‐6.1.Mental health as a new priority challenge for the labour market

‐6.2. Evidence on the interface between mental health and work

‐6.3. New directions for mental health and work policies
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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