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Work – Mental illness more and more reason for job absences News

Sunday, September 17th, 2017 | Economy

Since 2005, the missing days due to mental illness have grown by 79.3 percent since 2005, as is shown by the absentee report presented by the scientific institute of the AOK (WIdO) on Thursday in Berlin. Last year, the proportion of these ailments increased by 0.5 percentage points. According to the report, mental illnesses lead to long downtimes: with 25.7 days per case, they last more than twice as long as the average with 11.7 days per case.
The sick leave of the almost 12.5 million active members of the General Local Health Insurance (AOK) were evaluated. Due to declines in other areas, the health care rate remained unchanged at 5.3 percent in 2016. This means that every employee on average had missed an average of 19.4 days on the basis of a doctor's prescription. More than one-fifth of the absenteeism was attributable to muscular and skeletal disease (22.9 percent), followed by respiratory diseases, injuries and mental disorders.
Critical life events
A survey of 2000 employees also showed that about half of the workforce was affected by a critical life event in the past five years. The consequences were serious for the employees and employers, said WiDo expert Helmut Schröder. Many companies responded and offered support to their employees. However, especially for small companies, there is a need for catching up, explained AOK-Verbandschef Martin Litsch.
According to the survey, the most frequent is a serious illness of relatives, conflicts in the private environment and financial problems. As the age increases, the share of the affected population increases: just over one third of the workforce below 30 (37.6 percent) reported critical life events, with the 50- to 65-year-olds almost two-thirds (64.7 percent). Younger workers report, in addition to private conflicts, mainly financial or social problems, while older ones have their own illness, aging or the death of the partner played a bigger role.


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