Welcome message from Mr. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of International Social Security Association (ISSA), to the Congress participants

Mr. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA), a member of the International Organizing Committee, with welcome address to the Сongress participants.
“I am very honoured to take part in the Congress on Mental Health in the Russian Federation, which is aimed at addressing mental health on a broad and holistic basis. I am convinced that the idea of the Russian Union for Mental Health, the organizer of this important forum, to bring together the visions and efforts of medical doctors, policy-makers, health programme administrators and international experts will generate new and creative synergies to respond to the growing challenge of poor mental health across the world.
The topic of mental health at the workplace is an important priority on the agenda of the International Social Security Association (ISSA). The scale of the challenge cannot be underestimated. Research indicates that one in four working-age individuals will experience some kind of mental health problems at any given moment, which has wide repercussions on the individual, organizational and wider societal level. The multiple health, economic and societal consequences of this situation affect every level of society.

The ISSA, in response to the need for a more holistic understanding of health in the society, where mental health presents one of the key factors for individual and collective efficiency, has developed a three-dimensional prevention approach, linking occupational risk management, health promotion and return-to-work measures. This approach connects the well-being, productivity and health of persons.

Since social security institutions in many countries are responsible for the compensation of work-related accidents and diseases, including rehabilitation, their main strategic interest should be to contribute to a safe working environment and healthy workforce, protecting and promoting workplace health. To support its members in more than 150 countries, the ISSA has developed a set of internationally-recognized guidelines and professional standards in social security administration, addressing key areas relevant to workers’ health, which are in line with the three-dimensional approach to health: prevention of occupational risks, workplace health promotion and return to work and reintegration.

Considering the growing importance of mental health at the workplace as an integral part of the individual’s health and its impact on all spheres of society, I believe that equivalent standards may be developed in response to problems caused by stress, burn-out, harassment and other factors closely related to the working environment. The focus of this endeavour should be given to psychosocial risk prevention, mental health promotion and management of mental health conditions.

It is a great satisfaction to see your Congress becoming a true global forum for mental health. In this way, we can achieve the best outcome for the people of our countries and fully realize the need to deal with this challenge together.

I look forward to participating in the debates and I wish to take this occasion to convey greetings and best wishes for success to the participants of the Congress on behalf of the ISSA members in more than 150 countries.

Finally, I would like to thank the Russian Union for Mental Health for inviting the International Social Security Association to contribute to this outstanding event.”

About the International Social Security Association (ISSA)

The ISSA is the world’s leading international organization for social security institutions, government departments and agencies. The ISSA promotes excellence in social security administration through professional guidelines, expert knowledge, services and support to enable its members to develop dynamic social security systems and policy throughout the world. Founded in 1927 under the auspices of the International Labour Organization, the ISSA counts more than 320 member organizations in over 150 countries. The President of the ISSA is Mr Errol Frank Stoové, from the Netherlands.

ISSA Web-site: https://www.issa.int/home

Please visit the Congress’s website to access online registration for the congress program, including detailed information and registration options: www.mental-health-congress.ru/en/

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