UN System Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy
A five-year United Nations Workplace Mental Health Strategy has been created for all staff, across diverse roles, contexts and environments, from deep-field missions to Headquarters, with the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of the UN by optimizing the psychological health of its personnel.
The Strategy was developed in response to the findings of the UN Mental Health and Wellbeing survey that identified elevated levels of symptoms consistent with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and hazardous drinking in UN personnel by a collaborative multidisciplinary, multi-agency working group. The Mental Health Strategy is not a solution for all United Nations workplace issues and challenges. It should not and does not stand alone. The Strategy is multipronged, being implemented in a system in which all the parts need to link and work together.
Doing our work well requires all of us to be giving the best of ourselves, while taking the best care we can of our colleagues, our families, the Organization and ourselves.
Five-year workplace mental health plan
The four key themes of the five-year workplace mental health plan are to:
- Create a workplace that enhances mental and physical health and well-being
- Welcome and support staff who live with mental health challenges
- Develop, deliver and continuously evaluate mental health and well-being services in all duty stations
- Ensure sustainable funding for mental health and well-being services
Where we work
There are currently there are 131 counsellors employed in the UN agencies, funds and programmes. They deliver psychosocial and mental health services to staff and run psychosocial promotion and prevention programmes within the organisations they are working for. Staff/Stress Counsellors are distributed across 45 countries and in 58 different duty stations.
The UN Medical Services and Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services (UNOMS) also provide key elements of overall services to staff seeking advice, resolution of workplace difficulties, treatment, and support for mental health concerns. UN Medical Services has a key role in the medical, physical and psychological care of personnel in return to work programmes for those experiencing mental health problems.
Where to find help or talk to someone, please check the list of UN System Counsellors List.
- Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy (English / French)
- Staff Well-Being Survey Data Report (English / French)
- Mental Health in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Mental Health and Development, DESA Division for Inclusive Social Development
- Building Back Better: Sustainable mental health care after emergencies (WHO)
- Policy options on mental health: WHO-Gulbenkian Mental Health Platform collaboration
- Secretary-General António Guterres on the Launch of the UN Workplace Health and Well-Being Strategy
- Launch of the UN System Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy (16 October 2018)
- Assistant Secretary-General Fabrizio Hochschild on UN System Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy
- Mental health 'neglected issue' but key to achieving Global Goals, says UN chiefs
- Creating a healthy workplace improves mental well-being and productivity - UN
- Mental health included in the UN Sustainable Development Goals