Pop-Up: Mental Health in the Workplace

Mr Greg Richey, CIH, CSP, FAIHA Pop-up Presenter
Colden Corporation
Philadelphia, PA 
United States of America
Ms Chrysoula Komis, PhD, CIH, CSP, FAIHA Pop-up Co-Presenter
Colden Corporation
Blue Bell, PA 
United States of America
Wed, 5/24: 9:00 AM - 9:25 AM PDT
Pop-Up Education  
Phoenix Convention Center 
Room: Education Pop-Ups, Level Two across from 221 


This presentation will detail the latest thinking both in the U.S. and globally regarding psychosocial norms in the workplace and how negative mental health factors can come at a great cost to employers and employees.

The World Health Organization believes that working people deserve an inherent right to the highest attainable standard of mental health at work. The WHO estimates that at any point in time, 15% of working-age adults have a mental disorder.

Depression and anxiety account for an estimated 12 billion workdays lost each year The WHO and the International Labor Organization recommend that employers incorporate the mitigation of psychosocial risks as an essential element of their occupational health and safety management system. No workplace is immune to these risks and we cannot afford to limit our definition of occupational health and safety to only the physical.

Some examples of psychosocial risks include dangerous working conditions, harassment, discrimination, disrespect, non-inclusiveness, unethical behavior, a cutthroat environment, abuse, conflicting demands, lack of control over the work, job insecurity, and third-party violence. The pandemic has added an extra level of stress for many workers.

A challenging and stimulating work environment can encourage positive mental health for workers, however, negative conditions supplant mental health. Some outcomes of negative workplace mental health include absenteeism. sickness including cancer, and diabetes, presenteeism, turnover, grievances, complaints, litigation, decrease in motivation and productivity, and damage to public image.

Many European countries as well as Mexico and Australia have adopted legislation addressing psychosocial risks in the workplace. Although it is unlikely that such legislation will be passed in the U.S. any time soon, the U.S. Surgeon General has issued A Framework for Workplace Mental Health and well-being in 2022. The document encourages management to provide a safe place of employment, opportunities for growth, dignity, and meaning in work, work-life autonomy and flexibility, and a sense of belonging.

Some basic tools for the evaluation of psychosocial factors will be provided.

Content Level



Risk Assessment and Management
Total Worker Health®