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UN calls for more to be done to protect mental health at work

The United Nations (UN) urged on Wednesday to do much more to protect mental health in the workplace and presented new recommendations to reduce stress.

The two UN agencies responsible for health and work respectively, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), have published a series of guidelines to prevent and protect mental health risks.

Psychological distress is costly for those who suffer from it and for society, and it is estimated that 12 billion working days are lost each year due to depression and anxiety, worth an estimated $1 trillion, according to the WHO and the World Health Organization. ILO.

"It’s time to focus on the harmful effects that work can have on our mental health"WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a joint statement.

"The well-being of the individual is reason enough to act, but poor mental health can also have a debilitating impact on a person’s performance and productivity"Add.

The WHO warned in June that nearly a billion people around the world were living with a mental disorder before the covid-19 pandemic, which further aggravated the situation.

One in six working-age adults suffers from a mental disorder, according to the WHO, a "alarming figures"according to Manal Azzi, head of the ILO’s occupational safety and health team.

One of the recommendations is to train managers to avoid stressful work environments and respond to workers in danger.

"We need to invest in creating a culture of prevention around mental health at work, reforming the work environment to end stigma and social exclusion, and ensuring that employees with mental health conditions feel protected and supported"ILO chief Guy Ryder said in the statement.

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