Lancaster expert invited to prestigious mental health and work conference

A composite image with Professor Stavroula Leka on the left, and on the right is a blue background with several of the Belgian Presidency Council of the European Union logos

A Lancaster University professor is taking part in a prestigious conference hosted by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Stavroula Leka, Professor of Organisations, Work and Health, will be contributing to the Conference on Mental Health and Work as both a rapporteur and a panel speaker.

Professor Leka, who is Director of the Centre for Organisational Health and Well-Being, will travel to Belgium this week to take part in the event.

She said: "Since before the Covid-19 pandemic, evidence has been mounting on the potential negative impact of psychosocial risks (associated with poor work organisation, design and management) on employee health and wellbeing as well as organisational performance.

“The changing nature of work associated with the introduction of new technologies, work processes and employment contracts is leading to an increase of these risks in the future of work. There have been important policy actions to address these developments such as specific legislation in several counties and the launch of an international standard.

“However, organisational action is still too reactive, focusing on individual resilience rather than on developing healthy work and healthy workplaces. This important event takes stock of where we are and where we need to be in the future to have a real impact on the promotion of mental health and wellbeing at work to drive organisational sustainability and performance.”

The Conference will consider the broad topics of “Prevention of psychosocial risks, stress and burnout at work” and “Start-Stay-Return to work”.

Professor Leka will be rapporteur in the discussion “Harmonising a legislative framework for psychosocial risk” and a speaker on “START to work: inclusive labour market for people suffering from mental health conditions, lessons to be learned for the European Union.”

Professor Leka is a Chartered Psychologist, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine.

She is President of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology (EAOHP), and member of the Board of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH). She co-led and co-authored ISO 45003, the first international standard on Psychological health and safety at work: Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks.

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