Mental health and the workplace

Mental health problems have become one of the leading causes for absenteeism from work and early retirement all over Europe. The number of people with severe mental health problems has been increasing over the last decade. This development has great impact on society and is a great burden to economies throughout the world.

A conference held in Berlin, Germany on 17 and 18 March 2009 aimed at identifying best practice and bringing forward policy recommendations for employers and political institutions to address mental health and well-being at the workplace – especially in the light of difficult economic times. A further focus was on social integration and empowerment of vulnerable people.

This was a joint conference of WHO/Europe and the German Alliance for Mental Health, organized in cooperation with the European Commission, DG Health and Consumers, and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Health.