In a survey on mental health issues faced by expatriates, depression turned out to be most prevalent condition (with a 50% increase between 2014-16), followed by anxiety (28% prevalence increase).
Aetna International’s report on 5,000 members, Expatriate mental health: Breaking the silence and ending the stigma, also found that globally, women between the ages of 30-49 are the most likely to seek treatment for a mental health concern.
The research focused on expats, given that just 6% of expats have been found to be concerned about mental health issues before relocating. ” Dr. Mitesh Patel, medical director, Aetna International, explained: “Part of the reason expats are more susceptible to mental health issues is the absence of the family and friends network they relied on for support back home.”
He added: “By comparison, more than a quarter (of expats) were concerned about heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, we found among the people surveyed, that expats on assignment expressed a reduced need or desire to take action prior to arrival.”
According to data between 2014-2016, mental health claims increased the most in Europe (33%), followed by the Middle East and Africa (28%), and the Americas (26%) not far behind. Southeast Asia saw the least increase in mental health claims during this period at 19%.
Possible solutions for employers to consider
- Networking and language orientation: Missing home and languages barriers were the biggest challenges to well-being amongst the people Aetna surveyed faced.
- Access to mental healthcare: According to WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2014, the number of mental health workers per 100,000 persons ranges from less than 1 in low-income countries to more than 50 in high-income countries.
- Employee assistance programme: Such programmes offer telephonic support to workers facing all manner of concerns, from work-related stress to substance abuse to major life events like births and deaths. Employees typically have 24-hour access to counsellors who can, if needed, make referrals to local professionals. Moreover, full confidentiality is maintained.
- Policies that support work-life balance: Examples include family leave policies, onsite fitness and childcare facilities, flexible work scheduling, and programmes on everything from nutrition to smoking cessation.
- The Alliance for Work-Life Progress has identified seven categories of programmes for employers: caring for dependants, proactive approaches to health and wellness, creating a more flexible workplace, financial support for economic security, creative use of paid and unpaid time off, community involvement, and culture change.
Infographic / Aetna International
Lead photo / 123RF
Looking for Human Resource Information System ? Then you are at the right place. Make the switch today with our Human Resource Software for Malaysia called eP2P Application. It is fully responsive on any devices and native apps HR Mobile ready. Contact Us today.
Powered by http://hrsc.my
This article was first published in Human Resources Online Bulletin and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at http://www.humanresourcesonline.net