Mental health Murcia | Nearly 5,000 Murcians miss work due to mental illness

Mental health Murcia |  Nearly 5,000 Murcians miss work due to mental illness

Nearly 5,000 Murcians miss work due to mental illnessIsrael Sanchez

Almost 5,000 people are missing jobat this time due to mental health problems. This figure corresponds to the sick leave recorded last Monday in the Region, as explained by Virginia Pedreño, a specialist in Occupational Medicine of the INSS Temporary Disability Service, who yesterday participated in a round table organized by the College of Psychology of the Region within the European Mental Health Week that the Murcia City Council is celebrating. Young people between 26 and 35 years old are the ones who suffer the most from this type of pathology, which has skyrocketed in recent years.

Iñaki Irizar, clinical psychologist, Eduardo Ruiz Esteban, territorial director of Ibermutuamur and Juan Pablo Martínez, zone coordinator of the Adecco Foundation. It was moderated by the vice dean of the College of Psychology, Pilar Martín.

Virginia Pedreño explained that the 4,935 sick leave attributed to mental illness At this time, with a clear diagnosis, they are not the only ones that really obey pathologies with a psychological or psychiatric cause, but many others remain hidden because patients go to the doctor with symptoms of different diseases.

Warning that as the absence lengthens, it is more difficult for the patient to return to their workplace.

The medical inspector specified that when there is another initial diagnosis, the cases are not included in the records of the health system. As an example, she said that “if a leave is given for fibromyalgia or hypertensionalthough it ultimately ends up leading to depression”, will not appear as a mental illness in official statistics.

Mental illnesses cause 16.39% temporary disabilities in the Regionwhich on May 13 amounted to 30,119.

However, he pointed out that the percentage of 16.39% is very close to the national averagealthough there are substantial differences between the autonomous communities.

Virginia Pedreño He agreed with the rest of the speakers who participated in the meeting that mental disorders have skyrocketed in recent years and warned that since 2016, sick leave due to mental health has doubled. The greatest increase has occurred among young people from 26 to 35 years old.

In his opinion, the problems caused by anxiety and depression “occur more” in people who develop “jobs for which they are not sufficiently qualified or have no training in prevention of occupational risks.

The territorial director of Ibermutuamur, Eduardo Ruiz Esteban, said that heanxiety and depression They constitute the second cause of sick leave, behind bone and muscle problems.

Disabilities due to mental disorders have doubled since 2021 and are more frequent in young people

The area director of the Adecco Foundation, Juan Pablo Martínez, warned that in 2030 “the first cause of disability will be mental illness.” He added that one in four people will suffer from this type of pathology.

Virginia Pedreño also warned thate healing time It can be crucial and even determine the patient’s chances of returning to work, as they reduce over time.

Thus, he explained that according to the calculations made by the experts, the expectations are reduced to 50% when the absence lasts between three and six months.

Starting from the year of sick leave, the possibilities of return to work barely reaches 20% and when it exceeds two years they are practically null.

The medical inspector estimates that what is normal in cases of anxiety or depression is a period of recovery one or two monthsalthough he noted “these processes are taking up to 120 days.”

Virginia Pedreño does not rule out that the extension could be due to the delays in medical appointments.

The Association of Mutual Insurance Companies for Workplace Accidents also blames waiting lists and delays in appointments with specialists, together with the burden of care in the autonomous communities, for the longer duration of sick leave in temporary disability processes, which translate into greater spending on benefits.

Last year, 148,585 sick leave were registered in the Region, which reached an average duration of 53 days, 13 more than the average for Spain. Temporary disability benefits paid by companies and mutual societies reached 464 million euroswhich is 74.6 more than the previous year.

«Code Z: when the discomfort of life causes illness»

Diagnosis by family doctors does not always allow for precise determination of the ailment of the patient with mental health problems. The medical inspector specializing in Occupational Medicine Virginia Pedreño explained during her intervention at the round table on ‘Mental health in the workplace‘that people who present ailments due to imprecise causes are assigned the so-called «Z code».

Pedreño said that this formula is used, for example, in the case of «people with daily life problems. What happens to them is the logical suffering of life, which can end in illness.

“We cannot have a sick society that does not tolerate suffering,” says the INSS inspector

However, he noted that sometimes the patient cannot identify which one is the cause that triggers the disease and they only refer to the event that they consider “the trigger” of the crisis, the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The inspector considers that these types of situations lead to incorrect treatment and “medicalization of daily life problems.” We cannot create a sick society that can’t live with suffering», warns the specialist. In her opinion, it is necessary to “have strategies to deal with suffering”, given that “the quality of life is not determined by money”, but by “work satisfaction”.

He clinical psychologist Iñaki Irizar defined the main causes of mental illnesses and disorders caused by work.

He explained that the most frequent are «burnout syndrome‘, which occurs especially among health personnel or teachers who are overwhelmed by the situations they must face; presenteeism, attributed to “people who go to work, but have poor performance”; depression and consumption (of drugs or alcohol) and even suicide, which “has become the second cause of death for young people between 15 and 19 years old.”

The psychologist presented the main conclusions of the survey on INE occupational health of the year 2020which reflects that 3.8% of the workers consulted declared having suffered some type of sexual or psychological harassment or violence.

Companies are beginning to create the figure of the “health ambassador”, who provides support to their colleagues

Another 3% acknowledge having suffered from depression, which occurs especially in women. 7.7% consider that they maintain «poor communication or cooperation at work».

Iñaki Irizar highlighted that «It is the company’s responsibility that the worker is healthy» and warned that the causes of absenteeism are «verbal abuse», but also «contractual insecurity».

Eduardo Ruiz Esteban, territorial director of Ibermutuamur, explained that one of the novelties introduced by his company is the figure of the «mental health ambassador», which is «a person trained to help» colleagues and who is in charge of «guide and advise them» to resolve any problem. «There has been a change in mental health. Working on mental health has direct benefits,” he indicated.

The zone coordinator of the Adecco Foundation, Juan Pablo Martínezdetailed the prejudices that still make it difficult for workers with disabilities or mental illnesses to join companies, who suffer from “stigma.”

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