Mental health, at the heart of the company: 70% of workers can suffer from anxiety
Today April 7, World Health Day is celebrated and Affor, a company specializing in psychosocial well-being, wants to defend the importance of mental health, a problem that affects a large part of Spaniards. 67.58% of the working population in our country would require a detailed assessment of the health surveillance zone for possible anxiety and depression, according to a study by Affor on the impact of COVID on the health of workers.
The scan detected at least three of the twelve symptoms included in the Goldberg scale as indicators that one may be suffering from any of these symptoms of mental health disorders, as well as other symptoms included in the test. total health (TST). The most common are nervousness, irritability or tension (felt by 86.2% of workers in Spain), sleep disturbances (84.7%), headaches (68.8%) and feeling excess or stress (61.5%).
Other disorders from which more than half of Spaniards suffered throughout this pandemic year were the inability to enjoy daily activities (57.6%), lack of concentration (56.8%), loss of sleep due to worry (54.7%) and delay in starting tasks (50.6%).
Mental health, the great forgotten
Despite the high prevalence of all these symptoms, the attention they receive from the national health system is insufficient. The ratio of psychologists per 100,000 inhabitants is 6, three times lower than the European average of 18, according to the Ombudsman in a recommendation which calls for an increase in resources for psychological care. “An area of care that citizens demand and use, for the benefit of their mental health.”
“The only way to eradicate this divide is for us to work to make visible the existence of psychological disorders, to stop hiding them and to think that it is something that does not bind us as a society, since, To date, stress at work alone causes almost 30% of sick leaves in Spain ”, explains Anabel Fernndez, CEO of Affor. “National health systems cannot cope with the common unforeseen events that cause incapacity for work due to stress. According to the National Institute of Social Security (INSS), they directly represent 6% of the IT total and have an average of 83 days off, which entails costs that neither society nor businesses can manage ” , he adds.
As part of Strategy 2030, some governments are implementing actions to take care of mental health, and businesses are great places to take actions to promote mental health. In this area, Affor considers the “Protocol for monitoring psychosocial risks at work”, used in Chile since 2013, to be particularly noteworthy, which includes additional contributions for companies with absenteeism rates above the national average. It recognizes absenteeism as an indicator of psychosocial risk and urges companies to take specific measures. Models like the Chilean one make it possible to make companies aware that an employee in poor psychological health will be more absent from his job, leading to social costs in the medium to long term, but also in the short term, to a drop in productivity for their companies.
It should be remembered that the WHO considers that mental health is an integral and essential component of health and that, according to the constitution of this body, it is not only the absence of disease or illness that is sought, but “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. In addition, the WHO recalls that the global economy loses around $ 1 billion per year in productivity due to depression and anxiety.
“Today, the management of mental health must be a priority, and we are obliged to implement joint actions to minimize the social impact generated by the lack of public attention to this already called pandemic of the 21st century », Concludes Fernndez.