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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.

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Mental health and work challenges in Sweden

This chapter discusses the current labour market performance of people with a mental disorder in terms of their employment and unemployment situation, with a view on sickness absence and reduced productivity of those working. Building on the findings in the recently published OECD report “Sick on the Job?”, it highlights the key challenges ahead, such as the high share of people on different social benefits who suffer from a mental health condition. The chapter also provides a description and an assessment of the three main systems catering for people with mental illness: social protection and income support, the education system, and health care.

English

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