Long sickness absences due to mental health disorders have increased by 43 per cent in 2016–2019. The increase has been steepest among young people and women (Kela 2019). In addition, the number of people retired on disability pension due to mental health reasons has grown by 29 per cent in 2014–2019 (Finnish Centre for Pensions 2019).

Work ability management at the workplace is highly significant for supporting employees’ mental work ability and managing psychosocial workload. In this work, occupational health care is an important partner.

To support mental health, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and MIELI Mental Health Finland built an occupational health co-operation model in 2021–2022. The model for occupational health co-operation that supports mental work ability and mental health was created together with workplaces and occupational health services. The model is available in Finnish and Swedish

With the model, you can:

  • assess the need for support for work ability and the risks and resources in the work environment
  • set development targets required by the situation and define service needs
  • choose the measures needed in different situations to support work ability and influence the work environment
  • agree on the responsibilities of different parties and the co-ordination of measures and the overall process
  • carry out the necessary measures
  • see to the monitoring and assessment of the effectiveness of the measures.

The operational model for occupational health co-operation created by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is part of a mental health in work life programme launched by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.