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Measuring Mental Health and its Links with Employment

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Abstract:

This chapter reviews methodological and measurement issues and lays out the key policy questions to be addressed. Mental ill‐health is measured from national health surveys which use a reliable mental health instrument. A transparent methodology is used to make results comparable across different instruments, taking advantage of findings from epidemiological studies on the prevalence of mental disorders. These suggest that at any one moment around 5% of the working‐age population have a severe and another 15% a common mental disorder. Both groups should be targeted by policy makers. The chapter discusses the characteristics of mental illhealth, including e.g. the very early onset, and their implications for policy making. The key challenge to be addressed is the rising labour market exclusion attributable to mental ill‐health despite no indication of an increase in the prevalence of such disorders. A framework for policy development is proposed, based on two dimensions, the severity of the mental disorder and the person's labour force status.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

oecd/16080289/2011/00002011/00000012/8111181ec004
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