World Mental Health Day: Fostering Mental Health Resilience in the Workplace

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On World Mental Health Day, Bdaily hears from International SOS, a health and security risk services company, as it puts a spotlight on the increasing importance of mental health resilience for global workforces.

In a global landscape in which there are ongoing poly and perma-crises, the impact of these challenges on the mental health of employees has never been more significant.

A global pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, geopolitical challenges and the accelerating rate of change in today’s workplace have placed unprecedented stressors on individuals and organisations worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 15 per cent of working-age adults lived with a mental disorder in 2019, and 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety alone.

The International SOS Assistance Centre has already seen a 5 per cent increase in the number of requests for assistance related to mental illness during the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Poor working environments, including discrimination and inequality, excessive workloads, low job control and job insecurity all pose a risk to mental health. Without effective support, mental illness can impact an individual’s capacity to work productively, absences and the ease with which they can retain or gain work.

Dr Oliver Harrison, CEO of Koa Health, a global provider of digital-first mental healthcare, commented: “We live in challenging times, with cost-of-living pressures worldwide, recovery from the pandemic and conflict in Europe against a backdrop of the climate crisis.

“In this context, mental health resilience has become a critical matter for organisations, public and private. Employees spend one-third of their lives at work - which means employers are uniquely positioned to support employees’ mental health, both by avoiding harm and promoting comprehensive benefits that are inclusive and easy to navigate.

“To strengthen the health of both their team and their business, organisations must take action to prioritise mental health and wellbeing for all their employees.

“Whether team members are dealing with everyday mental health challenges or require clinical support, employers must ensure that their workforce has access to the mental health support they require when and where they need it.”

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