P R E S S R E L E A S E
Improving Mental Health in Small and Medium Enterprises
EU-Horizon 2020 funded MINDUP project has started
Cork. Enterprises are increasingly aware of the tremendous costs caused by absenteeism and presenteeism due to depression and the responsibility to support mental health of their employees. The EU-funded large-scale research MINDUP ("Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings") addresses non-clinical aspects such as stress or burnout as well as depression as a prevalent and severe medical disorder. In January 2020, the MINDUP Consortium, coordinated by Prof. Ella Arensman, School of Public Health and National Suicide Research Foundation, University College Cork, met for its first project meeting in Cork, Ireland. The consortium consisting of 17 high-ranked international partners discussed the approaching work packages, milestones and desired impact of MINDUP in order to develop, implement and evaluate various (online) interventions and training materials. “The MINDUP project will provide sustainable interventions for mental health promotion in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe and Australia by involving employees, supervisors and managers, and by combining expertise from all relevant disciplines. A unique aspect of the MINDUP intervention programme is the focus on both non-clinical aspects, such as burnout or stress and clinical conditions, including severe depression and anxiety”, says Arensman.
Why research on mental health in the workplace matters
Whereas established employer guidelines on alcohol related problems already exist, little is known on how to address the topic of depression and suicidal behaviour. Prof. Ulrich Hegerl emphasizes: "Depression is such a common and serious mental condition that basic knowledge on the topic is urgently needed also in SMEs. Part of this knowledge can be learning how to conduct a conversation with an employee who, for example, no longer has lunch with his colleagues or sits crying in front of his computer. Such measures can pave the way to professional treatment and thus avoid the costs of absenteeism and presenteeism”. By training HR managers, executives and employees, affected colleagues may find their way to professional treatment more quickly.
Proven expertise from 17 project partners
MINDUP will design interventions that address a range of complaints and psychiatric conditions (such as depression, anxiety disorders, stress-related symptoms) and will be targeted at and delivered to SMEs in the areas of construction, healthcare and ICT. MINDUP merges experts in mental health, suicide prevention, depression, stigma, implementation science, health economics and other interdisciplinary fields from Albania, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA. Overall, the consortium aims at improving the early recognition and treatment of depression in occupational settings and reduce suicidal behaviour. The consortium will build on proven concepts (EAAD's 4-level programme, iFightDepression self-management programme and information website), which will be adapted to the specific needs of SMEs.
Learn more about the MINDUP project, consortium partners and related research: https://www.mindupproject.eu/
Follow MINDUP on Twitter: @eu_mindup
Dr Arlinda Cerga-Pashoja is the Principle Investigator of MINDUP in the UK, and is based at the Centre for Global Mental Health (CGMH) at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Arlinda previously held the position of co-deputy director at CGMH at LSHTM. She is a mental health researcher with a special interest in the development and evaluation of e-health interventions. Currently she is the UK-Principal Investigator of ImpleMentall (www.implementall.eu), an EC funded consortium that aims to implement E interventions for common mental health problems in EU and Australia. Arlinda is leading the research work on LMIC's in South Eastern Europe i.e. Albania and Kosova. Arlinda has also coordinated several large EU-funded projects on depression, (http://www.e-compared.eu), dementia (http://www.evidem.org.uk/evidem-e) and autism (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WuUKVSxD6Q).
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is renowned for its research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health. The School has an international presence and collaborative ethos, and is uniquely placed to help shape health policy and translate research findings into tangible impact. The School’s mission is to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide; working in partnership to achieve excellence in public and global health research, education and translation of knowledge into policy and practice.
For further inquiries please contact:
Department of Population Health
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Keppel St, WC1E 7HT
Tel: +44 (0)20 7958 8146
Department of Population Health
London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineKeppel St, WC1E 7HT
Tel: +44(0)20 7927 2463
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 848137. The material presented and views expressed here are the responsibility of the author(s) only. The EU Commission takes no responsibility for any use made of the information set out.