Mental health has become a key part of work ability. As a social phenomenon, mental health in work life combines many things that are changing, such as work-related expectations, requirements and ideals, as well as global challenges. Mental health is also closely linked to the economy and the availability of workforce.
– Mental health problems challenge work ability and the situation cannot be solved only in the field of health care. In addition to discussion focused on problems, we need to talk about resources and the work engagement, says Director Salla Toppinen-Tanner from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is launching an extensive project focusing on the means and methods of supporting mental health as well as various professional fields. The aim is to strengthen the capacity of workplaces and work communities to support mental health and to respond to the demands of changing work life in terms of mental work ability.
The Mental Health Toolkit project is part of Finland's Sustainable Growth Programme and it is funded by the recovery instrument Next Generation EU. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health co-ordinates the project together with its partners and an extensive network of stakeholders.
A toolkit for building a work culture that supports mental well-being
Mental health can be promoted by developing working conditions and ensuring the smooth flow of work as well as good interaction within the work community. The Mental Health Toolkit includes ways to support mental health and build a work culture that supports mental well-being.
The freely available tools and materials are suitable, for example, for supporting supervisory work, developing brain work, planning physical activity and exercise to promote work ability, evaluating the organization's recovery policy and many other situations.
The toolkit includes research-based tools and methods developed in the Mental Health at Work Programme (2021–2022). The project will develop the existing tools further and launch new tools.
– Help with getting started with the tools is now available. It is worth taking advantage of the opportunity to develop your workplace’s operations to support mental health. This will lead to increased well-being and productivity, says Pauliina Mattila-Holappa, Senior Specialist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
The impact of COVID-19 is still visible – support for the social welfare and health care sector and the arts, culture and events sectors
One of the priorities of the project is to support the activities of the social welfare and health care sector and the arts, culture and events sectors that have been affected by COVID-19.
– In some cases, concrete conditions and resources stand in the way of a humane and reasonable work life. In these areas, it is now important to focus on well-being and coping, says Pauliina Mattila-Holappa.
Development measures in the social welfare and health care sector focus on recovery at work, leadership that supports work ability and the assessment of human resource needs in the workplace.
In the art, culture and events sector, stress is caused by, for example, long and fragmented working days, multitasking and challenges related to recovery. The pandemic further reinforced concerns about livelihoods and the experience of a lack of appreciation. The project aims to provide support for the well-being and work ability of professionals in the sector.
For more information, please contact
Director in charge of the project, Senior Specialist Pauliina Mattila-Holappa, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, email@example.com, +358 (0)43 824 4041
Salla Toppinen-Tanner, Director, Work Ability and Working Careers unit, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 (0)46 851 2517