OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Mental Health and Work

Achieving Well-integrated Policies and Service Delivery

Mental ill-health can lead to poor work performance, high sickness absence and reduced labour market participation, resulting in considerable costs for society. Improving labour market participation of people with mental health problems requires well-integrated policies and services across the education, employment, health and social sectors. This paper provides examples of policy initiatives from 10 OECD countries for integrated services. Outcomes and strengths and weaknesses of the policy initiatives are presented, resulting in the following main conclusions for future integrated mental health and work policies and services: More rigorous implementation and evaluation of integrated policies is necessary to improve labour market outcomes. Implementation cannot be left to the discretion of stakeholders only; Better financial incentives and clearer obligations and guidelines need to be provided to stakeholders and professionals to participate in integrated service delivery; Each sector has a responsibility to assure integrated services in line with client needs, in turn requiring much better knowledge about the needs of clients with a mental illness; More integrated provision of services within each sector – e.g. through employment advice brought into the mental health system and psychological expertise brought into employment services – appears to be the easiest and most cost-effective approach.


JEL: I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs; I28: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education: Government Policy; J28: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy; J18: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics: Public Policy; I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
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