Mental Health and Work: Sweden

image of Mental Health and Work: Sweden
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 Sweden is the second 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 Swedish policy makers recognise the need to take steps to tackle mental ill-health and its labour market implications, but that a more comprehensive reform effort and a long-term commitment to it is needed in order to prevent problems from arising in the first place and respond more effectively when they do occur.



Facilitating early return to work in Sweden

This chapter discusses how the current welfare system caters for persons with mental health problems and especially, whether the various measures and support the system offers ensure both a speedy return to work and adequate income security. It pays particular attention to the outcomes of recent sickness reforms for different population groups, namely those with a mental disorder and discusses the potential challenges still remaining despite the comprehensive reform. It also addresses the challenges facing caseworkers and general practitioners in assessing mental disorders and granting benefits on the grounds of mental ill-health. It focuses on the role of the public employment service and municipalities and the tools they have to deal with mental illness among the unemployed and social assistance recipients. Finally, the chapter examines the effectiveness of active labour market programmes to promote employment among those with mental disorders.


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