Work, including working conditions, is one of the critical social determinants of mental health. Unemployment is a well-recognized risk factor for poor mental health. The work environment and work organization can have a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of workers. Right working conditions can benefit good mental health and unfavourable working conditions, or occupational risks can contribute to or exacerbate existing mental or physical health problems (WHO 2020).
Mental health conditions in workers can also occur irrespective of working conditions. Poor mental health has a deleterious effect on a person’s cognitive, behavioural, emotional and social and relational functioning. The capacity to participate in work is impaired through a reduction in productivity and performance, reduction in working safely, or difficulty in retaining or gaining work. Through presenteeism (or lost productivity at work), absenteeism and staff turnover, workers and employers are affected, as well as the economy. Common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders are estimated to cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year (WHO2020).
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