The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. Balance between body and mind. Unfortunately, the health crisis severely affected the mental health of Mexicans. The prevalence of depression was nine times higher in early 2020 compared to 2019 and anxiety increased by 50% in the first waves of COVID-19.
Millions of people lost their jobs, and those who kept them were severely disrupted by harmful schemes such as staff cuts, lower wages and benefits, says the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Mexico ranks third in cases of depression, plus workers work an average of 2,255 hours a year, which means they spend more time working than living with their families. The range in Germany is 1,363 hours per year.
The World Health Organization estimates that the annual cost of not paying attention to the mental health of workers is $1,000 million. In our country, absenteeism from work related to mental illness represents a 23.8% loss in productivity according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, and over the coming months, spending on care for psychosocial work disabilities will rise by 15%.
Work stress causes absenteeism, employee turnover, and workplace accidents. 5% of payroll is spent according to the Mexican Association of Human Resource Management. The International Labor Organization asserts that psychosocial risk factors are a global problem affecting all occupations as a result of inappropriate health policies, poor management practices, lack of support, unclear goals and tasks, and intimidation or undignified treatment of employees. Meanwhile, Konneval identified that the effects on mental health come from informal employment, job instability, low wages, and inflexible working hours.
To protect the working class, we need an adequate legal framework in the workplace such as promoting and protecting the right to mental health; prohibition of discrimination in non-hostile environments; conferences with the participation of specialists in work psychology; Protocols for receiving and handling complaints when practices that violate mental health occur; Elimination of stigmatizing language and behaviours; Work flexibility and guidelines for reducing psychosocial risk factors.
At the crossroads of balance, business well-being is key to productivity. We work to live. We don’t live to work.
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