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Mental Health and Work: Belgium

image of Mental Health and Work: Belgium

Tackling mental ill-health of the working-age population is becoming a key issue for labour market and social policies in OECD countries. OECD governments increasingly recognise that policy has a major role to play in keeping people with mental ill-health in employment or bringing those outside of the labour market back to it, and in preventing mental illness. This report on Belgium is the first in a series of reports looking at how the broader education, health, social and labour market policy challenges identified in Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (OECD, 2012) are being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It concludes that Belgium can build on a system with a number of structural strengths that are not yet exploited to the best possible extent.

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Belgium's public employment services

This chapter looks at the role of public employment services (PES) in dealing with mental disorders among their clients. It starts by describing how the PES recently became aware of the issue and the active labour market programmes that are gradually being developed to support job seekers with mental health problems. The chapter discusses the mechanisms the Flemish PES developed to identify and address the needs of people with mental health problems as well as the programmes targeted at long-term unemployment beneficiaries with multiple problems, including mental disorders. The chapter ends with a short discussion of the recent outreach by the Flemish PES to beneficiaries of the social assistance and disability benefit systems.

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