Sick leave due to psychological problems at a new high

Photo: DAK (via dts news agency)
Photo: DAK (via dts news agency)

Hamburg (dts news agency) – The number of sick days due to mental problems continues to grow unchecked and has reached a new high. According to the current “Psychoreport” of the DAK, about which the newspapers of the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” report in their Tuesday editions, the number of days absent from employees due to depression, anxiety or stress disorders rose last year by 24 to 260 days per 100 insured persons compared to 2018. This is the highest level since the investigation began in 1997. Since then, the number of days absent due to mental illness has more than tripled, by 239 percent.

The DAK Psychoreport is a long-term analysis for which the IGES Institute evaluates the anonymized data of around two million employed insured persons. Most often, workers diagnosed with depression are absent. In 2019, 105 days of absence per 100 insured persons were accounted for by this disease, and 59 for adjustment disorders. Neurotic disorders followed in third place with 26 days of absence per 100 insured persons.

Anxiety disorders come to 19 absent days. With 328 days per 100 insured persons, women were on sick leave for mental health problems significantly longer in 2019 than their male colleagues with 203 absent days. In addition, the mental illnesses are distributed differently across the industries.

The public administration is hardest hit with 382 days absent per 100 insured persons, followed by the health care system (338 days) and the transport, storage and courier services sector (249 days). The construction industry has the lowest number of days absent due to mental illness at 154 days. There are also significant regional differences.

While in Saarland last year 340 days of absence per 100 insured persons were justified with the corresponding diagnoses, there were only 207 in Baden-W├╝rttemberg. DAK boss Andreas Storm was concerned about the development: “Mental illnesses are not only a great burden for them Affected people, they pose enormous challenges for our entire society, “he said. Storm welcomed the federal government’s recent announcement to launch a mental health offensive in the workplace.