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Vision Zero for mental health

Mental Awareness Month is held each May and aims to raise awareness about mental health and promote understanding and support for individuals struggling with mental health conditions. Vision Zero recognizes that mental health is a crucial component of overall well-being and encourages a comprehensive approach to achieving zero harm.

Mental Awareness Month serves as a platform to encourage open conversations, reduce stigma, and provide resources to those in need. Various organizations, communities, and individuals come together to advocate for mental health and address the significant mental health challenges faced by individuals worldwide. Awareness campaigns, educational events, and initiatives are organized to foster understanding. The goal is to promote positive mental well-being and encourage early intervention and treatment for mental health issues.

The Vision Zero mindset is about the journey towards a higher prevention-level. It is based on the assumption that all accidents, harm and work-related ill-health are preventable. The Vision Zero concept developed by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) is flexible and can be adjusted to the specific safety, health or well-being priorities for prevention in any given context. Well-being is an integral part of this strategy, and Vision Zero recognizes that mental health is a crucial component of overall well-being.

Well-being at work is characterized by the active promotion and maintenance/sustainability of healthy psychosocial working conditions to sustain individuals’ positive mental health and ability to work productively and creatively, and the active prevention of ill health and poor psychosocial working conditions. Developing healthy psychosocial working conditions and healthy organizations should be a priority for any organization that is striving towards business excellence with the aim to create the best possible workplace and to attract and retain their managers and employees. Potential unhealthy psychosocial work environment dimensions need to be addressed, e.g., by considering how to create balance between work demands and resources; how the work-tasks match the employee’s skills, abilities and competences; or how work-life balance can be promoted through flexible and adaptable working practices.

The Vision Zero Wellbeing Guide is an essential resource that focuses on holistic well-being and mental health. The guide is based on the Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate work-related risks and reduce occupational accidents and diseases. By integrating mental health considerations into the Vision Zero framework, the Wellbeing Guide encourages a broader understanding of safety, health and well-being. It recognizes that mental health affects not only individuals but also their interactions with the built environment. The 7 Golden Rules for well-being can be applied by organizations wishing to successfully create a healthy, productive, and reputable working environment which benefits the mental health of employees.