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2018.03.13

【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.62: Depression and the Workplace

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

Depression was the theme of World Health Day on April 7, 2017. World Health Day was established in commemoration of the founding of the World Health Organization on April 7, 1948. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of depressed patients who received treatment at medical institutions was 1.21 million (including bipolar disorder patients) in 2014. The factors causing depression vary among individuals and are mainly related to a patient's health and family problems, money problems, workplace stress, and the like. Out of these factors, workplace-related stress is the one that administrative agencies can take preventive measures against.

As a result, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare provides guidance to employers in terms of occupational safety and health law, and conducts various investigations. For example, according to a 2016 survey, the percentage of workplaces that are working on developing mental health measures is 56.6%. Specific measures (multiple answers were permitted) are [Survey on the stress situation of workers (called Stress Check)] 62.3%, [Educational training / information provisions for workers with respect to mental health measures] 38.2%, [Maintenance of consultation systems in the workplace] 35.5%, etc.

Across all industries, the percentage of workers who took more than one consecutive month off or retired due to mental health problems is 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively. As shown in Table 1, the larger the workplace, the higher the percentage.


Table 1 Percentage of workers who took more than one consecutive month off or retired due to mental health issues

180314_matsuyama_fig01.png

(Source)Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare



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