Work-related stress in the new EU mental health strategy

The European Commission presented the Mental Health Strategy on 7th June 2023. This strategy outlined in a Communication from the European Commission is the beginning of a new strategic approach and was informed by the results of the extensive consultations carried out between November 2022 and May 2023, gathering the views and suggestions of different stakeholders with respect to the main areas for action in the field of mental health.

Regarding mental health at work, stakeholders emphasized the need for more attention for workers at risk, such as front-line workers, or those at risk of experiencing trauma at work. In addition, beating stigma, actions and reforms to reduce psycho-social stressors and improve working conditions both by practical solutions and legislation, increasing mental health literacy at work and monitoring and evaluate mental health at work were also recommended.

Mental health at work and, therefore, work-related stress, is one of the main areas included in this new strategy where it is recognized that work-related stress and psychosocial risks at work can impact mental health and lead to decreased job satisfaction, conflict, lower productivity, burnout, absenteeism, and turnover.

Therefore, this new mental health strategy addresses psychosocial risks and put forward several actions in this regard such as a peer review on legislative and enforcement approaches to address psychosocial risks at work in the member states with a view to present in the medium term an EU-level initiative on the psychosocial risks, subject to its outcomes and social partners input.

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