Health

when going to work is the key to mental well-being

Stress is behind more than 50% of work absenteeism. A stress that goes beyond the traffic jam of each day, the posits accumulated with unanswered calls and the tasks that are never crossed off in the agenda. It’s another story. One that paralyzes everything. We are talking about an incapacitating stress that leads those who suffer from it to the gates of an abyss from which they do not know how they have entered or how to get out. It is the story of Javier Herrera.

Javier was always clear about what he wanted to be: a firefighter. He got it. However, two years after obtaining a permanent position, a mental illness due to stress was activated and everything turned around. It was more than a pothole that led him twice to make an attempt on his life. To reverse the free fall he had settled into, work was part of the way out. A reinvented outing, yes, and guided thanks to the Mental Health line of the Incorpora program of the ”la Caixa” Foundation.

Stress is behind more than 50% of work absenteeism

Stress is behind more than 50% of work absenteeism

This is a program that, since it was launched in 2006, aims to accompany and train vulnerable people, recognizing their potential and preparing them to enter the labor market. One of the lines of work is mental health, which this year celebrates 10 years since its inception and has achieved more than 17,000 job placements with a personalized itinerary.

Because, despite prejudice and discrimination, having a work routine makes it easier for people to structure their life project and gives them an active role in society, increasing their self-esteem and well-being. That’s why when a person can’t go to work, the balance of his mental health is dangerously shaken.

a common story

Javier’s story can be, as he himself shares, “anyone’s story”. In fact, it happens more often than we can imagine. In Europe, 27% of the adult population is affected by mental health problems. That is, 93 million people. The World Health Organization estimates that, in 2020, depression was the second most important cause of disability in the world, whose associated economic cost is estimated at 240 billion euros per year.

25% of European citizens will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime

The future is not encouraging – 25% of European citizens will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime – so the development of specific resources and tools for this group in the workplace is more necessary than ever. In fact, when we talk about mental illness we are dealing with one of the population groups with the highest unemployment rate, a reality that the ”la Caixa” Foundation’s Incorpora program wants to reverse.

Work as a vital axis

Its objective is to facilitate the employment of these people, providing the necessary support to both the company, the professionals involved, and the person, combating the stigma that exists regarding mental health problems at work. Because employment, as they describe from the program, facilitates social recognition, encourages independent living and contributes to well-being and health, and people with mental health problems are no exception.

“Work makes you feel better, it integrates you into society. They can save your life in so many ways and in such subtle ways”, explains Javier. For him and for thousands of other beneficiaries of the program, work is one of those ‘ways’. Ordinary people with ordinary jobs who, due to some kind of mental disorder or illness, one day felt they couldn’t. Today they get it again thanks to Red Incorpora and their experience and that of other users has also shaped the documentary podcast ‘Diarios Incorpora, one step every day’.

Javier is one of the beneficiaries of the mental health line of the Foundation's Incorpora program

Javier is one of the beneficiaries of the Mental Health line of the Incorpora program of the “la Caixa” Foundation

This is a series of episodes that address the importance of employment for people who, like Javier, have suffered from a problem or disorder associated with mental health. Testimonials that, with courage and all the professional support provided by the Incorpora program, they have been able to get ahead thanks to the autonomy and confidence that daily work gives them. A podcast produced by the ”la Caixa” Foundation’s Incorpora program and narrated by Manuel Jabois.

see, understand, act

The ”la Caixa” Foundation program also focuses on companies, not only to help them promote the hiring of people with mental health problems, but also to make them more aware of the psychosocial risks that can be generated in teams of work. Because understanding what happens and what happens when the company decides to act is the first step and it has a positive effect, both on the worker and on the company and society.

The benefit is triple. By doing so, they facilitate the normalization of the employment situation of these people, improve their quality of life and help to end the social prejudice that exists against them, while promoting diversity in the workplace. On the contrary, not knowing the risks and not taking action about them triggers economic, social and, of course, human repercussions.

The Technical Office of Incorpora Mental Health aimed at companies and professionals promotes mental health in the business environment

The Technical Office of Incorpora Mental Health aimed at companies and professionals promotes mental health in the business environment

For this reason, the Incorpora program is not only aimed at people with mental health problems who want to return to work. A Technical Office of Incorpora Mental Health has also been set up for companies and professionals who, in addition to promoting mental health in companies, need free advice and support resources for job placement to carry out the process of integrating these people .

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT “INCOPORA mental health”

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