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Public Health (02-03-2011)

EU Mental Health Pact Conference: Promotion of Mental Health and Well-being in Workplaces, 3-4 March, Berlin

Improving mental health and well-being in the workplace can have many benefits to employers and employees as well as to public health. This includes economic advantages for businesses and social security systems. Healthy, productive employees make a vital contribution to a company's success and competitiveness, but psychological strain is increasing at workplaces. For those who have experienced poor mental health, getting and keeping a job can be vital to the recovery process, boosting self esteem, confidence and social inclusion. A high level of mental health at work is essential for the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy with its objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The conference Promotion of Mental Health and Well-being in Workplaces opening today in Berlin raises awareness on the relevance of mental health and well-being for workplaces. This 2-day conference is organised by the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Health in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs with the support of the Hungarian EU Presidency. It gathers around 350 experts to discuss the role of workplaces in improving the mental health and well-being of the population.

The case for action from a public health perspective is the focus of the conference. The workplace constitutes a key area for health promotion and the prevention of mental disorders. Conference sessions will include the case for investing in mental well-being and practical steps for social security actors to build mentally healthy workplaces – in both corporate and public sector spheres. The conference's conclusions and recommendations for action, will be available here from 5 March 2011.

This is the fifth and final conference under the European Pact for Health and Well-being, launched in 2008. This Pact provides an EU framework enabling exchange and cooperation between stakeholders in different sectors including health, employment and education on the challenges and opportunities in promoting better mental health. Conferences on the other themes under the Pact - Mental Health in Youth and Education, Prevention of Depression and Suicide, Mental Health and Well-being in Older People and Promoting Social Inclusion and Combating Stigma - were held in 2009 and 2010.

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