Mental health support at the workplace – an operational model for occupational health co-operation
Long sickness absences due to mental health disorders have increased by 43 per cent in 2016–2019. The increase has been steepest among young people and women (Kela 2019). In addition, the number of people retired on disability pension due to mental health reasons has grown by 29 per cent in 2014–2019 (Finnish Centre for Pensions 2019).
Work ability management at the workplace is highly significant for supporting employees’ mental work ability and managing psychosocial workload. In this work, occupational health care is an important partner.
The project aims to build an operational model for occupational health co-operation that supports psychological work ability and mental health for workplaces and occupational health services.
With the model, it is possible to:
- assess the need for support for work ability and the risks and resources in the work environment
- set development targets required by the situation and define service needs
- choose the measures needed in different situations to support work ability and influence the work environment
- agree on the responsibilities of different parties and the co-ordination of measures and the overall process
- carry out the necessary measures
- see to the monitoring and assessment of the effectiveness of the measures.
The model will be created together with workplaces and occupational health services. Past research and development data will be compiled as the basis. The objective of the development work carried out with workplace-occupational health care pilot partners is to develop occupational health co-operation processes to better support the mental health of employees and to strengthen the role of occupational health care as a partner in the workplace’s work ability management. The model will be available to all workplaces and occupational health services.
The sub-project Mental health support at the workplace – an operational model for occupational health co-operation is part of the Government Programme and the Mental Health at Work Programme. The key objective of the programme is to shift the focus of mental health support in work life from individual-centred solving of existing problems to comprehensive prevention of work ability problems.
project manager, specialist doctor
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health will carry out the project in cooperation with Mieli ry.