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In Europe, the link between mental health and work is debated

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While the pension reform is bringing the subject of ill-being at work to the forefront of the media scene, the recognition of the professional nature of mental disorders is far from achieving consensus in Europe, notes Eurogip. In his last reportpublished in May, this observatory, created by the Assurance Maladie-Risks Professionnels, looked at the way in which several European countries have taken up this subject.

Like France, only a handful of our neighbors have opened the door to recognition of pathologies such as depression or burnout as occupational diseases: Denmark, Spain, Italy and Sweden.

In question, the difficulty of objectively measuring the impact of degraded working conditions – harassment, overwork, etc. – on the mental health of a worker, while extra-professional factors can also affect it. Germany, Austria and Switzerland exclude this possibility.

Very different assessment criteria

The only country to have included two mental disorders – post-traumatic stress and depression in veterans – in the list of occupational illnesses (without ruling out the examination of off-list pathologies), Denmark is at the top of the countries which record the more requests for recognition and recognized cases. But with a lower rate of recognition of mental illnesses (7%) than in Italy (10%) and especially than in France, where this rate reaches 52% (in the private sector).

In the French system, the files filed are much fewer (16 applications on average for 100,000 insured, compared to 162 in Denmark), but assessed on a case-by-case basis by the regional committees for the recognition of occupational diseases (CRRMP). “It is tempting to interpret these recognition rates as an illustration of the degree of openness of the system for recognizing occupational mental illnesses”say the authors of the study.

Read the analysis of the Liepp project researchers: Article reserved for our subscribers “The quality of employment and work in European comparison: a French counter-performance? »

These figures also cover very different assessment criteria from one country to another. “Jurisprudential interpretations of what an accident at work covers on the one hand, regulatory procedures for the recognition of occupational diseases on the other also explain this gap in terms of requests and recognitions”emphasizes Eurogip.

In France, the legislation sets a permanent disability rate of at least 25% when an occupational disease is recognized, which implies serious and irreversible psychological damage to victims who are not always able to file a case.

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