Mental Health Problems Growing in Majority of Japanese Firms
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 Posted: 09:18 AM JST
The number of employees suffering from mental health disorders is on the rise in the majority of Japanese companies, with a striking increase among workers in their thirties, according to a survey published in April 2005 by the Institute of Labor Administration, a private research institution in Japan.
The survey took place in January and February 2005, and targeted 3,952 companies including those listed on stock exchanges across Japan. Among them 276 companies responded. In the survey, mental health disorders such as depression, neurosis, and psychosomatic diseases were identified as mental problems in general. Companies were asked to report on changes in number of employees suffering from such conditions in the past three years.
The increase of was most noticeable among employees in their thirties (39.6%), followed by those in their twenties (27.6%) and forties (18.7%). The institute attributes the rise in troubled workers in their thirties to the fact that they are under more stress due to heavier job responsibilities as they work to fill the gap resulting from companies having a fewer number of senior employees, caused by corporate downsizing. They also have to cope with loads of paper work that would have been performed by junior employees, who are now being hired in smaller numbers due to cutbacks on hiring.
About 30 percent of the companies reported that they offered no specific measures to help employees with mental health disorders, such as counseling services or consultation desks. This rate varied widely depending on company size, ranging from about 10 percent at larger companies with 1,000 employees or more, to over 60 percent at smaller companies with less than 300 employees.
Originally published by Japan For Sustainability.
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