Mental health problems are not only a problem for those affected, but also for the Austrian economy. This is evidenced by the recently published report "Mental Health and Work: Austria" the OECD. At about 3.6 percent, Austria's economic output is reduced accordingly by the reduced productivity as well as by the higher health and social costs. There are some measures that would alleviate the problem.
Unemployment benefits or disability pensions in Austria suffers from mental health problems. In addition, people with mental health problems are three times as likely as the average unemployed. Since especially older workers are affected with mental illness, the OECD sees a direct relationship between age, health and work. So psychological problems have become the main reason for disability applications. In numbers: 1995 ten percent of all invalidity pensions were psychological diagnoses based on 2013, was the case for one-third.
The analysis and the international comparison point to many shortcomings in the handling of the problem. The OECD has now issued six specific recommendations, what would change in Austria to get the issue better grip.
1. Better education of AMS
Unemployed persons with mental health problems need special care. This comes at the public employment services nor too short. Therefore they have to be better staffed. In addition, the staff would need training so that they can respond really effective with mental health problems also to customers.
2. Gradual return to work
Services should be taken in case of illness part of an active system, the speedy and - promotes gradual return into the labor market - where necessary. A supported by the health insurers of the absence management system and the opportunity to return on a part time basis again in the profession could make a big difference.
3. Implement reforms more quickly
The recent reform of the invalidity pension (2013) is taking an important step in the right direction, since it tries to keep people in the labor market or to facilitate their return. However, the success largely depends on how much support the authorities responsible people who are in rehabilitation, in practice. The reform should be implemented according to the OECD consistently for workers of all ages and extended to the entire workforce.
4. Remove Workplace Health Initiative
The Austrian Government has taken the initiative fit2work launched, inform, advise and assist workers with mental health problems should. A step which is praised by the OECD, but still has potential for expansion, for example, the offer for employees and employers to make equally accessible.
5. Redeploy resources in healthcare
Thus the needs of the mentally ill should be better taken into account. Great need, especially in outpatient therapies, psychological first aid by general practitioners, child psychiatry and in general in rural areas. Austria has high health care expenditures and generally has a very good access to health services. Mental health assessment according to the report there is a lack of attention, however, as evidenced by, inter alia, in the underfunding of psychotherapeutic measures. Few people are treated with the aim to reintegrate them into the profession, accordingly, there is no connection between health and employment services. Other countries are already experimenting successfully with such cooperation.
6. Take precautions early school age
Despite high expenditure so far fail to adequately help young people with behavioral or psychological problems. Therefore, both inside and outside the school, it would need stronger support by trained personnel. Youth and Education Coaching should be extended to reach the target audience better and prevent young people leaving school before graduation or no vocational qualifications. "Just the quieter psychological problems are difficult to detect," said the Swiss psychologist Niklas Baer, the co-author of the OECD report is. Who can conclude any training due to a mental illness, has a greater risk to find a job.
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