WHO Collaborating Center for Training and Research in Mental Health
WHO and ILO call for better protection of mental health at work
© World Health Organization
Work and mental health are closely linked. While a safe and healthy work environment promotes mental health, an unhealthy workplace can lead to serious mental disorders. As this issue becomes increasingly prevalent, and the urgency for action becomes clear, the WHO and ILO are jointly issuing new recommendations and policy brief that will lay the foundation for change in occupational mental health worldwide. The WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, housed at the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine since 1998, has long been involved in this issue and actively supports this process.
By 2022, 15% of working-age adults will be living with a mental disorder. While having a job can be a protective factor for mental health, and even promote recovery, professional environment can have a very negative impact. Stress, excessive pressure, inability to effectively separate work and private life, feelings of job insecurity and harassment are just some of the risks posed by unhealthy work environments. "As a mental health professional, I noticed in my clinical practice, over the past decade, an increase in treatment seeking for burnout, for anxiety, and for depressive disorders linked to overwork, as well as an increase in addictive disorders, including those mediated by Internet, as a means of coping with professional difficulties," stresses Dr Sophia Achab, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health and Associate Deputy Head at the Addiction Division of University Hospitals of Geneva.
Without appropriate support, health of affected individuals can rapidly deteriorate. Every year, 12 billion working days are lost due to depression and anxiety, costing $1 trillion a year in lost productivity. Around the world, workers, families, businesses and entire economies are impacted by mental health problems, whether or not they are work-related. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Office (ILO) released 28 September 2022 a report to tackle the pressing issue. The international organisations also highlight the duties of employers and the rights and responsibilities of workers, and identify strategies to prevent the psychosocial risks’ burden at work and to protect and promote mental health and well-being of workers.
Dr Achab welcomes this global initiative: "During my expert mandates and collaborative activities with WHO, and in my roles in Executive Committees of various European and global scientific societies, I am committed to better addressing the mental health of populations, vulnerable groups, and health professionals. There is no health without mental health.
#MentalHealthAtWork WHO Guidelines on mental health at work
WHO Mental Health Report
Launch event on Friday 17 June, 2pm, online
WHO is releasing a major report on global mental health, the first in 20 years. Mental health is so important to all of us, yet it is often neglected. Around the world, mental health needs are great, but responses are insufficient and inadequate.
This report, based on data collected around the world, takes stock of the situation and presents examples of good practice. It also gives a voice to people with mental disorders: the first and foremost people affected, yet their voices are often unheard.
The WHO and its partners call for a much-needed change in the way we understand mental health, support people with mental disorders and fight stigma and discrimination. The WHO Collaborating Centre for Training and Research in Mental Health, hosted since 1998 at the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine, is joining this momentum to strengthen the value of and commitment to mental health, reshape the environments that influence it and strengthen systems of care.
Gaming and Gambling disorders included by WHO in ICD-11 as addictive disorders
The WHO has officially recognized video game and gambling related disorders as addiction in the new revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) which came into force on February 11, 2022 .
Gaming disorder recognized as a mental illness by WHO
WHO has officially recognized gambling and gaming disorders as addiction in the new revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
Read the press release here (in French )
REDESIGNATION OF WHO COLLABORATING CENTRE SWI-54
In October 2021, WHO approved the redesignation of the Clinical and sociological Research Unit of the Department of Psychiatry at Geneva University, as WHO Collaborating Centre for Training and Research in Mental Health.
The Centre is active and labelled WHOCC since March 1998. This great achievement has been possible thanks to its strong , close, fruitful, productive and high-quality collaboration with World Health Organization.
- Provide technical contribution and support to WHO program activity and technical tools in the areas of mental health, substance use and addictive behaviors, and cognitive aging.
- To support the development of WHO information products on mental health, substance use and addictive behaviors, and cognitive aging.
- To assist WHO to plan, organize and implement education and training activities in the area of mental health, substance use and addictive behaviors, and cognitive aging in accordance with WHO strategies and action plans
- To support the implementation of the WHO strategies and action plans on mental health, substance use and addictive behaviors, and cognitive aging
- Product development (guidelines; manual; methodologies; etc.)
- Training and education
|1.1.2 - Countries enabled to strengthen their health systems to deliver on condition- and disease-specific service coverage results|
|1.1.1 - Countries enabled to provide high-quality, people-centred health services, based on primary health care strategies and comprehensive essential service packages|
|3.2.1 - Countries enabled to develop and implement technical packages to address risk factors through multisectoral action|
PAST AND PRESENT PROJECTS
SUPPORT TO THE GLOBAL ACTIVITIES OF WHO REGARDING PUBLIC HEALTH ASPECTS OF DEMENTIA
PROF. EMILIANO ALBANESE
We act as international experts for the formulation of scoping questions, the conduction of systematic reviews and GRADE of the evidence for the WHO GDG. We officially and actively participate to the annual mhGAP forum.
mhGAP dementia Evidence-based recommendations for management of dementia in non-specialized settings, and mhGAP intervention guide
We are part of the experts team that collaborates with the WHO to design the structure, revise the content and envisage the piloting, evaluation and implementation steps of the mhGAP intervention guide.
Prof. Albanese has contributed as main author to a number of World Alzheimer Reports in the past years; from the global epidemiology of dementia, to its risk and protective factors and nutritional aspects in clinical management.
Our WHO CC has been one of the key academic contributor to this WHO historic event, which paved the way towards the development of a “Global Dementia Action Plan” led by the WHO.
Prof. Albanese is part of both the WHO Advisory and Expert groups that have conducted, during 2015 a CHNRI global exercise to establish the research priorities in the field of dementia. The goal of this unprecedented exercise is to assist policy makers, funders and Member States to develop a sound, informed and coordinated research agenda to advance dementia research globally, and reduce the burden of the disease worldwide.
Preliminary results of the Prioritization exercises were presented at the WHO Ministerial Conference in 2015.
As of June 2016, we are finalizing a WHO report and a peer-reviewed publication to maximize the dissemination of the results.
A complex and structured mapping of all funded dementia research worldwide has been conducted. The results of this ambitious survey are now being combined with those of the research prioritization exercise (above) to inform the research agenda optimizing investments.
The purpose of the Global Dementia Observatory (GDO) is to provide evidence-based service planning and strengthening of policies in health and social care systems with comparable indicators. It will include data on burden and impact; policy; services and resources; as well as research and innovation. The Global Dementia Observatory will also function as a knowledge translation and exchange platform.
Our WHO CC is actively involved in the development, piloting and scaling up of the GDO, also in collaboration with the Swiss Office Fédéral de Santé Publique (OFSP/ BAG).
iSupport is an online platform for caregivers and family members of people with dementia. It includes educational and training contents, and a unique algorithm used to tailor the use of the platform dynamically and to best respond to the actual needs of the carers through the progression of dementia.
Our WHO CC has designed and developed the aforementioned algorithm with support from the Association pour la Recherche sur Alzheimer (anciennement Association IFRAD Suisse; https://recherchealzheimer.ch/)
Prof Albanese is part of the Steering Group who gave advice and contributed to the development of the WHO iCOPE guidelines aimed at providing a new evidence-based approach for health care providers for prevention of declines in intrinsic capacity (physical and mental) and care dependence in older age.
Prof Albanese wrote the chapter on epidemiology and impact of dementia.
Timely diagnosis of dementia and cognitive decline in collaboration with Prof. Giovanni Frisoni and LANVIE
The WHO CC promotes all research and clinical efforts directed towards a substantial improvement of timely diagnosis of dementia. Prof. Albanese collaborates with Prof. Frisoni and Dr. Idris Guessous (HUG: http://www.hug-ge.ch/medecine-premier-recours/unite-epidemiologie-populationnelle-1) to integrate dementia and cognitive impairment into the Bus Santé annual population-based surveys conducted in Geneva.
LANVIE laboratory: https://www.unige.ch/medecine/psyat/en/research-groups/935frisoni/
Psychosocial, low intensity interventions to improve mental health in Low and Middle-Income Countries: improving methodological quality of outcome assessment
PhD Program in Global Health – Dr. Melissa Harper and Dr. Mark van Ommeren, WHO
SUPPORT TO THE GLOBAL ACTIVITIES OF WHO REGARDING PUBLIC HEALTH ASPECTS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS AND DISORDERS
DRE SOPHIA ACHAB
Participation to the Inter Governmental Body draft preparation of a new international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (July 2022-Present)
Advocating for mental health and addictive disorders and behaviors inclusion and Advocating for mental health of care workers to be considered
Participation to the WHO Task Force for the Development of Screening and Diagnostic Tools for Gaming and Gambling Disorders (2020-present)
Brief overview of the WHO Collaborative Project on the Development of New International Screening and Diagnostic Instruments for Gaming Disorder and Gambling Disorder
Article publié dans la Revue ADDICTION et résumant le projet
Implementation in Switzerland of ICD-11 Field testing for addictive disorders and addictive behaviors (2019-2022)
Publication of several position papers on the arguments and modalities for the inclusion of Video Game Disorder as an addictive behavior (2017-present)
- Reed GM, First MB, Billieux J, Cloitre M, Briken P, Achab S, Brewin CR, King DL, et al. Emerging experience with selected new categories in the ICD‐11: complex PTSD, prolonged grief disorder, gaming disorder, and compulsive sexual behaviour disorder. World Psychiatry 2022;21(2):189-213.
- Castro‐Calvo J, King DL, Stein DJ, Brand M, Carmi L, Chamberlain SR, Demetrovics Z, Fineberg NA, et al. Expert appraisal of criteria for assessing gaming disorder: An international Delphi study. Addiction Biology 2021.
- King DL, Chamberlain SR, Carragher N, Billieux J, Stein D, Mueller K, Potenza MN, Rumpf HJ, et al. Screening and assessment tools for gaming disorder: A comprehensive systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review 2020;77:101831.
- King DL. Comment on the global gaming industry's statement on ICD-11 gaming disorder: a corporate strategy to disregard harm and deflect social responsibility? Addiction 2018;113(11):2145-2146.
- Rumpf H-J, Achab S, Billieux J, Bowden-Jones H, Carragher N, Demetrovics Z, Higuchi S, King DL, et al. Including gaming disorder in the ICD-11: The need to do so from a clinical and public health perspective. Journal of Behavioral Addictions 2018;7(3):556-561.
- Billieux J, King D, Higuchi S, Achab S, Bowden-Jones H, Hao W, Long J, Lee HK, et al. Functional impairment matters in the screening and diagnosis of gaming disorder. Journal of Behavioral Addictions 2017;6(3):285-289.
- Saunders JB, Hao W, Long J, King DL, Mann K, Fauth-Bühler M, Rumpf H-J, Bowden-Jones H, et al. Gaming disorder: Its delineation as an important condition for diagnosis, management, and prevention. Journal of Behavioral Addictions 2017:1-9.
National Case Studies
Needs for treatment at a Global level
Capacity building of care professionals at a Global level
Covid-19 pandemic impact
Preparation and participation in WHO summits on the public health implications of behavioral addictions associated with excessive use of the Internet, smartphones and other similar electronic devices (2014-present)