Health system: sick days due to mental illnesses at record levels

Health system: sick days due to mental illnesses at record levels

Reports of sickness due to mental illnesses reached a new high last year. That’s what she reports Rheinische Post citing a response from the Federal Ministry of Labor to a small question from the left-wing faction. Accordingly, the number of corresponding sick days has increased to 132 million. Already in 2022, the number of sick days due to mental illnesses was more than twice as high as 20 years earlier. In 2002 they had
Health insurance companies only 61 million corresponding sick days were registered.

The ministry cites several reasons for the increase: On the one hand, the consequences of current crises like this Corona pandemic. But also developments such as “digitization, decarbonization, demographic change and the ongoing shortage of skilled workers,” which influence the world of work and can therefore place strain on employees. In addition, the ministry also sees “increasing openness in dealing with mental illnesses” as a possible reason why more sick reports are being received.

“Increasing workloads, staff shortages and new requirements due to digitalization are leading to a continuous increase in psychological stress. Employees in areas such as nursing and geriatric care, in daycare centers or schools are particularly affected,” said left-wing politician Susanne Ferschl Rhenish Post.

Women are more commonly affected

According to the report, women are more commonly affected. The number of sick days due to mental illness is 77 million – an increase of 2.7 percent compared to the previous year. Men recorded 55 million corresponding sick days – an increase of 7.8 percent. A large proportion of early retirement due to reduced earning capacity can also be attributed to psychological stress.

The health insurance companies with the largest number of members expect a record number of sick reports for 2023. This means that for the first time in many years, over 20 days of absence per employee could be registered. This includes days of absence due to mental illness.



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