Links between work stress and mental illness need firmer evidence
A working group set up in 2001 to look into the possible inclusion of psychological illnesses in the coverage provided by the system of compensation for occupational diseases has concluded that there is not sufficient reason to change current legislation.
The working group, which submitted its final report to the Minister for Social Affairs and Health in early June, found that it is impossible to prove clear connections between work-related stress and mental health problems diagnosed at individual level.
From the point of view of compensation, the problem is one of a lack of medical evidence and methods to measure psychological stress. It also concerns the nature of psychological diagnosis as well as practical and juridical difficulties related to the definition of stress and illness.
The working group did, however, draw attention to the rise of work-related stress and its impact on mental health, and proposed that this requires further investigation.