The incidence of
mental health problems is rising globally, viz., about 450 million people
suffer from mental health ailments that can retard and hamper an individual's
ability to work efficiently.
Sound mental health is essential for effective
workforce. Mental health of the
employees can be enhanced by proactive mental health intervention programs at
the workplace. Worksite interventions help employees in
mitigating health risks and to alleviate quality of life.
There are various ways
of delivering active interventions at workplace through employee health
benefits for example, cancer screenings, flu shot, and other interventions.
Heleen H Hamberg-van
Reenen, from Centre for Public Health Forecasting, National Institute for
Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a
research to assess the role of workplace mental health interventions and to
find out the cost effectiveness of mental health intervention programs at
workplace. The review has been published in the Occupational and Environmental
reviewed economic evaluations and categorized them in two broad groups
depending upon intervention types:
1. Those concerned
with treatment and prevention of workers' mental health issues; and
2. Those concerned
with restoring back the normal work routine of the workers.
The scientists said
that the employers should promote the employees mental health intervention
programs. Owing to lost productivity and high medical consumption, mental
health interventions become expensive.
In developed nations, the average cost of mental health problems have
been expected to be between 3 percent and 4 percent of the Gross National Product.
Various types of
interventions are available for workers suffering from mental ailment ranging
from counseling through general practitioner to group interventions, to
cognitive behavioral therapy to medications.†
interventions ensure better return to work (RTW) for people suffering from
interventions aim at the betterment of the mental health of the entire
workforce and secondary preventive interventions are intended for the wellness
of the high-risk patients in order to prevent sick leave and to lower mental
Besides the usefulness
of workplace interventions in encouraging mental health, it is also imperative
to understand whether the entire investment process is cost-effective or
cost-friendly in improving the quality of life of the employees.
The researchers said
that 'since there was no systematic overview of economic evaluations on
worksite mental health interventions', the sole purpose of the study was to
provide an overview of the 'evidence on the cost-effectiveness (CE) and
financial return of interventions' for facilitating workers' proper return to
work after being cured from the mental illness.†
Owing to low
methodological quality and lack of proper evidences, the researchers could
infer only tentative conclusions from the systemic review.† But they did find that 'worksite interventions
to prevent or treat mental health problems might be cost-effective, while those
RTW interventions that included a full economic evaluation aimed at depressed
employees do not seem to be cost-beneficial'.
of high quality are required to acquire an insight in the financial usefulness
of mental health interventions at workplace.†
Worksite Mental Health Interventions; Heleen H
Hamberg van Reenen et al; Occup Environ Med. 2012;69(11):837-845. BMJ