Common mental health problems and work

Annie Irvine

in Work, Health and Wellbeing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428080
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305637 | DOI:
Common mental health problems and work

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This chapter focuses on common mental health problems (primarily anxiety, depression and stress) and employment. An introduction outlines recent statistics and policy discussion in this area. Some key conceptual and theoretical questions are then introduced, including notions of mental health as a continuum and as a fluctuating state of being. Next, the chapter provides an overview of the current evidence base for ‘what works’ in promoting mental wellbeing at work and supporting employees who develop common mental health problems, including: flexibility and workplace adjustments; employer awareness and engagement; access to effective medical treatment; vocational rehabilitation services; and strategies for keeping well. A discussion section highlights the importance of context in managing mental health problems at work. Finally, some future research directions are suggested. The focus of the chapter is primarily on initiatives and interventions for supporting the job retention of those in employment (rather than returning to work from benefits).

Keywords: mental health problems; stress; mental wellbeing; employment; vocational rehabilitation

Chapter.  7595 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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