30-31st January, 2024 – Residence Palace, Brussels

A high-level conference addressing mental health challenges in European workplaces recently took place in Brussels, hosted by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference brought together experts and decision-makers to address the challenges that are related to the deterioration of mental health in European workplaces.

The conference covered a range of topics, including the prevention of psychosocial risks, stress, and burnout at work. Discussions emphasised the importance of proactive strategies, including integrated approaches, robust legislative frameworks, crisis preparedness, and social dialogue in addressing the mental health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Leka (President of the EAOHP) played a prominent role as both a rapporteur and panel speaker at the conference. Her contributions focused on harmonising the EU legislative framework for psychosocial risks, and developing inclusive labour markets for those affected by mental ill health.

Professor Leka commented: “Since before the Covid-19 pandemic, evidence has been mounting on the potential negative impact of psychosocial risks (associated with poor work organisation, design, and management) on employee health and wellbeing, as well as organisational performance. The changing nature of work associated with the introduction of new technologies, work processes, and employment contracts is leading to an increase of these risks in the future of work. There have been important policy actions to address these developments such as specific legislation in several counties and the launch of an international standard. However, organisational action is still too reactive, focusing on individual resilience rather than on developing healthy work and healthy workplaces. This important event takes stock of where we are and where we need to be in the future to have a real impact on the promotion of mental health and wellbeing at work to drive organisational sustainability and performance.”

Recordings are available via the following links: