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The European Commission, EU Member States, WHO, and OECD recognize the need to address this negative impact of mental ill health. In June 2017, a Joint statement to invest in mental health research and a European Implementation Partnership on Mental Health and Wellbeing has been released. Mental health problems still constitute the most significant yet most neglected area of health problems. Every year, more than a third of the European population of nearly 900 million is affected by mental disorders (WHO Europe, 2013). Among them, emotional problems (anxiety, stress-related and depression) are largely prevalent. Global estimates by WHO (2017) indicate that of the global population suffers from mood disorders, and from anxiety disorders. In Europe, only major depression affects an estimated million Europeans (Wittchen et al, 2011). Indeed, a systematic review of studies conducted by Wittchen et al. (2011) revealed that approximately of the EU population suffers from a mental disorder each year. The most frequent disorders were anxiety disorders (14%), insomnia (7%) and major depression (). Depression was found to be the most disabling condition. Estimates from the Labour Force Survey in 2013-14 suggest that the total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounts for 39% of all cases of work-related illnesses, where work-related illness relates to conditions which people think have been caused, or made worse, by work. Overall, mental health problems also rank first, ahead of other chronic diseases as contributing the most years lived with disability (WHO Europe, 2013).
It is imperative developing effective preventive measures to promote emotional regulation and resilience building in the workplace through an intervention that focuses on both the individual’s psychological and intrapersonal aspects (promotion of self-esteem, life skills, coping skills), and supporting a mental health promoting environment.
Based on large prevalence and impact on productivity, development and implementation of intervention that an employer/organization can take to promote good mental health and prevent mental illness in the workplace should pay attention, and be aimed at: a) targeting emotion regulation as a core mechanism in the evolvement of emotional problems; b) accounting for comorbidity within and between emotional problems thanks a transdiagnostic approach; and c) reducing the rate of underdiagnosed and mistreated disorders.
Luis Joaquin Garcia-Lopez serves as a Professor Accredited from Department of Psychology at University of Jaen in Spain, and Leader of the Anxiety Team (research and clinical-based approach. His research interest focuses on the assessment and CBT treatment of emotional problems (anxiety and depression). He is leading a networked focused on promotion of mental health in the young. He has a demonstrated record of accomplished and productive research projects in an area of high relevance for population at risk of developing emotional problems.
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