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Illustration of a man surrounded by letters Source: GDA Psyche / Birte Cordes

Reduce stress – develop potential

The Psyche work programme

Stress, burn-out, depression: the increase in days of sick leave and early retirements attributable to mental stress is alarming. Many companies are also not aware of the right prevention options; this is where the GDA Psyche work programme comes into play. The programme aims to ensure that stakeholders within companies are fully informed and qualified, including entrepreneurs, managers, staff representatives as well as the persons responsible for occupational health and safety.

The work programme offers at a glance

  • Internet portal gda-psyche.de: The portal offers employers and employees key information on mental stress at work. The Work and the Psyche from A to Z section, for example, explains the various factors that affect the well-being of employees and what adjustments can be made within the company. www.gda-psyche.de (German only)
  • Recommendations for assessing the risk of mental stress: Since the end of 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Act [Arbeitsschutzgesetz] explicitly calls for companies to consider mental stress in risk assessments. In seven steps, a new brochure explains how to assess the risk of mental stress as well as the methods and tools used to do so, thus defining the parameters for the concrete implementation of risk assessments. The brochure primarily addresses companies and occupational safety stakeholders (including employers, members of works and staff councils, company doctors and occupational health and safety experts).

  • Practical tools for the workplace: This work programme collects and publishes examples of best practice when dealing with mental stress at work, thus providing companies, employees and occupational health and safety experts with practical support in improving everyday working conditions.
  • Qualification for inspectors: Inspectors with occupational health and safety authorities and accident insurance institutions are trained to identify mental stress and consult companies appropriately. By the end of 2017, inspectors will have expert knowledge on mental stress.
  • Inspections and consultation: Since the beginning of 2015, inspectors with occupational health and safety authorities and accident insurance institutions have conducted coordinated site inspections that focus on considering mental stress in risk assessments. The Federal States (Länder) and accident insurance institutions also provide companies with targeted advice on shaping working hours so as to promote health and on dealing with traumatic events.

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