Mental health and employment: An overview of patterns and policies across Western Europe

Claire Curran*, Martin Knapp, David McDaid, Kristinn Tómasson, Ingrid Zechmeister, Hilde Dierckx, Katrien Kesteloot, Lise Juul, Pekka Rissanen, Jean Pierre Lepine, Isabelle Gasquet, Reinhold Kilian, Thomas Becker, Owen O'Donnell, Eamon O'Shea, Francesco Amaddeo, Kasia Jurczak, Silvia Evers, Vidar Halsteinli, Mónica Duarte-OliveiraLuis Salvador-Carulla, Linus Jonsson, John Henderson, Pascale Van Den Heede, Roxana Radulescu, Mary Van Dievel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The relationship between mental health problems and employment is receiving growing attention across Europe as the cost of lost productivity is appreciated. Aims: This paper reports on the preliminary collection of data on employment of people with mental health problems and related economic issues in 17 countries participating in the Mental Health Economics European Network (MHEEN). Method: A questionnaire was developed with the Network partners and statistical and narrative data collected. These local and national level data were examined for patterns and trends. Results: Across Europe, the impact of mental health problems on lost productivity is substantial and growing. A range of policies have been developed to address this challenge, covering the spectrum of issues from workplace interventions promoting positive mental health to anti-discrimination laws to enable participation in the workforce. Conclusions: While much is being done, data and information on best practice across Europe are scarce. There is a need to share and collect this information to facilitate the sharing of best practice in Europe. Declaration of interest: The Mental Health Economics European Network Phase I was supported by a grant (SPC.2002397) from the European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate. There are no conflicts of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-209
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Background: The relationship between mental health problems and employment is receiving growing attention across Europe as the cost of lost productivity is appreciated. Aims: This paper reports on the preliminary collection of data on employment of people with mental health problems and related economic issues in 17 countries participating in the Mental Health Economics European Network (MHEEN). Method: A questionnaire was developed with the Network partners and statistical and narrative data collected. These local and national level data were examined for patterns and trends. Results: Across Europe, the impact of mental health problems on lost productivity is substantial and growing. A range of policies have been developed to address this challenge, covering the spectrum of issues from workplace interventions promoting positive mental health to anti-discrimination laws to enable participation in the workforce. Conclusions: While much is being done, data and information on best practice across Europe are scarce. There is a need to share and collect this information to facilitate the sharing of best practice in Europe. Declaration of interest: The Mental Health Economics European Network Phase I was supported by a grant (SPC.2002397) from the European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate. There are no conflicts of interest.

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