Employment policies and data

Mental Health and Work


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. 

Time to act on mental health

The costs of poor mental health are high: the total cost of mental illness is estimated at around 3.5% of GDP. People with mild to moderate disorders, such as anxiety or depression, are twice as likely to be unemployed. They also run a much higher risk of living in poverty and social marginalisation. The facts are clear: it’s time to act.



Key publication on mental health and work

  • “Fit Mind, Fit Job - From Evidence to Practice in Mental Health and Work".‌
    This report provides a synthesis of the findings of the OECD’s four-year review. It concludes that a transformation is required in policy thinking about mental health and work and sets out the key elements for an integrated policy approach to promoting better mental health and employment outcomes.  

COUNTRY REPORTS ON Mental Health and work

This series of reports is 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 are being tackled in a number of OECD countries.

Nine countries reports
are published:

data on mental health and work 

Mental health and work figure


related publications on Mental health and work

Further reading: Sickness, disability and work



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