Fit Mind, Fit Job

From Evidence to Practice in Mental Health and Work

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The costs of mental ill-health for individuals, employers and society at large are enormous. Mental illness is responsible for a very significant loss of potential labour supply, high rates of unemployment, and a high incidence of sickness absence and reduced productivity at work. Following an introductory report (Sick on the Job: Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work) and nine country reports, this final synthesis report summarizes the findings from the participating countries and makes the case for a stronger policy response.

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Mental ill-health is a key issue for labour market and social policies in OECD countries; an issue that has been long neglected also because of the widespread stigma and preconceptions. Yet mental ill-health exacts high costs on the people affected, businesses, and the economy as a whole. Things are beginning to change, however. OECD governments are increasingly coming to recognise that policy has a major role to play; it can help improve education outcomes and employment opportunities for people who suffer from mental ill-health; help those who are employed but struggling in their jobs; and prevent long-term sickness, unemployment and disability.

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