What is the purpose of the Stress Check Program?
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<p>Since December 1, 2015, the Japanese government has required employers to conduct the Stress Check Program. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced that this program should focus on the primary prevention of mental health problems. Although employers are obliged to perform screening for mental health problems and a physician's interview, employees are not mandated to participate in this program. Classical occupational health studies have accumulated evidence indicating that quantitative or qualitative workload is associated with mental health problems. Therefore, workload reduction is a major approach proposed for individuals with mental health problems; however, this approach exacerbates conflicts between mental health professionals and employers. We cannot achieve employers' understanding by only emphasizing that hard work can cause depression. Recently, the concepts of work engagement and organizational justice have spread in Japanese workplaces. Organizational justice is one of the necessary conditions for promoting positive mental health and can serve as a guiding compass for improving the work environment. If we can apply the Stress Check Program for the promotion of work engagement and organizational justice, the launch of this program could constitute a chance to improve this working environment. The Stress Check Program is not a process to search for and eliminate individuals with mental disorders.</p>
- Journal of Occupational Health
Journal of Occupational Health 58(6), 653-655, 2016
Japan Society for Occupational Health