For a substantial section of the world’s population, mental health and labor are inextricably linked. The absence of mental health issues does not constitute mental wellness. Rather, mental health is a condition of mental well-being that allows people to manage with life’s stressors, realize their strengths, learn and work productively, and contribute to their communities. Job-related mental health problems can emerge whether or not they are caused by work. Poor mental health impairs a person’s cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and relational well-being and functioning, as well as their physical health and personal identity and well-being in connection to employment. . A person’s capability to participate in work might be harmed as a result of decreased productivity and performance, decreased ability to work safely, or trouble keeping or getting a job. Presenteeism (or lost productivity, which has the highest financial consequences), absenteeism, and staff turnover influence both workers and employers, and hence the economy of society. At any given moment, an estimated 15% of working-age individuals have a mental condition. The magnitude of the public health problem of mental health disorders exceeds the amount of funding available to address it. This is despite international accords requiring national occupational safety and health measures to protect workers’ physical and mental well-being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides evidence-based global public health guidance on organizational interventions, manager and worker training, and individual interventions for the promotion of positive mental health and the prevention of mental health conditions, as well as recommendations on returning to work after an absence due to mental health conditions and gaining employment for people living with mental health conditions in these guidelines. The rules specify whether and how treatments can be offered to whole workforces, such as within a workplace (universal), employees at risk of mental health issues (selected), or workers experiencing emotional distress (indicated) – or workers suffering mental health conditions. It is expected that the new WHO recommendations would promote national and workplace-level initiatives in the areas of policy formulation, service planning, and delivery in the domains of mental and occupational health. The recommendations aim to enhance the implementation of evidence-based mental health interventions at work.