UN Launches Work Place Mental Health Strategy

Prelims level : Mains level : G.S-II Important International Institutions
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Why in News?

  • The United Nations has launched a strategy to deal with workplace mental health issues and the well-being of its staff by dealing with the stigma attached to it.

Workplace Mental Health Strategy:

  • UN staff struggling with anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder have reported feeling isolated and ashamed, with no one to turn to for help, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
  • He noted that mental health diagnoses account for almost a quarter of all days lost to sick leave, and were the leading cause of disability pensions, Xinhua news agency reported.
  • “The UN can and must do better in supporting its staff, and it starts with the new strategy we are setting in motion,” said Guterres.
  • Noting that reducing stigma is the top priority, he said the staff would not feel prepared to seek help or disclose their feelings until stigma was overcome.
  • The strategy also underscores the need to care for each other, and to reach out to colleagues who may be in distress and important to stay educated about the early signs of mental illness.
  • He said colleagues must find ways to help them feel supported, not judged. “We also need to educate ourselves about the early warning signs of mental illness,” he added.

Mental disorder- WHO definition:

  • Mental disorders comprise a broad range of problems, with different symptoms. However, they are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviour and relationships with others.
  • Examples are schizophrenia, depression, intellectual disabilities and disorders due to drug abuse.
  • Most of these disorders can be successfully treated.
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