Emotional Security

4 September 2021

A session on the protection of employee mental health will be held as part of the business programme of Russian Labour Safety Week. The expert discussion is being organized by the Roscongress Foundation’s Healthy Life project.

The event will be attended by Russian Deputy Minister of Health Oleg Salagay, Director of the Izmerov Scientific Research Institute of the Institute of Occupational Medicine, Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, and Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Igor Bukhtiyarov, Chief Physician of Alexeyev Psychiatric Clinical Hospital No. 1 and Chief External Expert Psychiatrist of the Moscow City Health Department Georgy Kostyuk, Director of the Institute for Cognitive Research and Acting Head of the Department of Problems of Convergence of Natural Sciences and Humanities at St. Petersburg State University Tatyana Chernigovskaya, Director General of Good Deed Centre for Social Assistance Olga Postnikova, Director General and Managing Director of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson & Johnson Russia & CIS Yekaterina Pogodina, and others. The session will be moderated by Russia 24 TV Channel Anchor and Doctor TV Channel Editor-in-Chief Evelina Zakamskaya.

Mental health is becoming more and more of a vulnerable target of modern rhythm and lifestyle. Changing working conditions and related problems at work (ineffective communication and management practices, long working hours and inflexible schedules, harassment and psychological abuse in the workplace) are factors that negatively affect people’s mental wellbeing and mental health. Depression and anxiety disorders can trigger alcohol abuse, absence from work, and decreased productivity. Paradoxically, progressive innovations in the organization of work, such as telecommuting and new communication technologies that appeared amidst the pandemic, have become another stressful factor for many people.

“Deterioration in the mental health of the population causes serious economic losses and is one of the biggest challenges for the world’s healthcare systems. Businesses are not sitting on the sidelines in resolving this problem: corporations are increasingly focusing on mental health issues in the workplace. At our company, employees have access to a wide range of tools to maintain mental health – from various training sessions to psychological support programmes. But in order to achieve significant and sustainable results in this regard, it’s extremely important to prioritize mental health issues in Russian healthcare and work on promoting and solving them as part of multilateral cooperation between business, government, and the medical community,” Director General and Managing Director of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson & Johnson Russia & CIS Yekaterina Pogodina said.

The meeting participants will discuss whether protecting mental health and preventing stress and professional burnout is an important component of the occupational healthcare system today in Russian practice, whether government intervention is required, what state support measures are needed to develop a corporate culture of mental health protection across the country, what legislative initiatives should ensure that stress factors such as long hours and inflexible work schedules, psychological abuse, discrimination, and other risk factors for mental health and other issues are guaranteed to be eliminated from corporate practice.

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