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DAK health report on stress at work
Mental health problems are becoming an increasing part of sick leave for employees. Depression, for example, has increased significantly. This is clear from the current DAK health report.
Stress in the job People in Germany are actually better off than ever thanks to health prevention and good medical care. For example, the absenteeism of workers due to cardiovascular diseases and colds, which are actually the most common causes of illness, has decreased significantly. On the other hand, the number of days off due to mental illness increased by 83 percent in the past twelve years. One reason for DAK-Gesundheit to address the topic of “stress at work”.
Always attainable According to the German Federation of Trade Unions, the increased work performance is one reason for the increase in stress-related absences. In a survey, around 50 percent said they worked 45 hours a week and 60 percent of those surveyed complained about the constant availability of smartphones and notebooks. In a survey of its insureds about how often they are contacted by the boss in their free time, the DAK also found that people who are always available are more susceptible to depression. Dr. Jens Wenke, chief doctor of the psychiatric outpatient clinic at the forest hospital in Köppern, said: "People have their limits and if they are exceeded, they get sick."
Creating a healthy working atmosphere Experts see as one reason for the sharp increase in sick leave due to mental suffering that people and doctors are now dealing differently than a few years ago. The head of DAK-Gesundheit Mainz, Steffen Kilian, said: "Today many employees are on sick leave with a mental health problem, whereas in the past they would have been unable to work, for example, with the diagnosis of chronic back pain." The director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy University Medical Center Mainz, Klaus Lieb, has also noticed the increase: “We are already seeing a trend. And it will continue to be a big issue. ”He said that companies should develop a different corporate culture and create a healthy working atmosphere. According to Claus Uebel from DAK Südwest, some employers have recognized the problem and are using DAK health management. Because not only for the health insurers, but also for employers, a high level of sickness is an immense cost factor.
Burnout is not a mass phenomenon The health report also refutes a common prejudice. “Burnout is not a mass phenomenon. Depression is eight times more common, ”says Kilian. Incidentally, burnout is also not a diagnosis in the classic sense, explained Professor Lieb: "Rather, it is a chronic state of stress that can lead to a mental illness." Employees could use prevention models such as the improvement of social communication, supervision concepts or a relaxation room in the company can be relieved. "It is important to start early before it gets out of hand," said the expert.
Mental illnesses in Hesse increased sharply The DAK calculates the values, when, how often and why its members were on sick leave, down to the counties. The study, which was published for the fifth time this year, shows that workers in rural areas are more often on sick leave. In Hesse, absenteeism due to mental illness increased by 83 percent between 2000 and 2012. Wenke said: "People are more likely to say that they are overworked." The DAK division manager in Bad Homburg, Erhard Waldmann, sees an "urgent need for action" in the companies. He believes that the topic should be taken out of the taboo zone and that the problem will only worsen with the next recession: "In the past you had the breakfast director, today there are no jobs for people who are not as resilient." (Ad)
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