Global Agenda Council on Well-being & Mental Health 2012-2014


The challenge

A healthy and satisfied population creates not only a more productive workforce, which in turn improves a country’s economic growth, but also an enhanced quality of life, leading to more sustainable development. The definition of progress is shifting to include well-being, the value of which goes beyond individual health benefits to include all of society. There is strong evidence that increased well-being and positive mental health are linked to work productivity, high financial performance, reduced absenteeism, stronger organizational performance, pro-social behaviour and stable social networks. Recognizing and stimulating well-being in workplaces and communities is essential for long-term economic and social success.

Maintaining the status quo has far-reaching, costly consequences; mental ill health affects one in four European Union citizens and accounts for approximately 3-4% of the European Union GDP. Effective multistakeholder dialogue is called for to strategically determine the integration of well-being across sectors, especially in the workplace, including the destigmatization of mental ill health, addressing mental health problems through effective organizational measures, and supporting action and fighting the taboos of mental ill health through a multistakeholder approach.

What the Council is doing about it

The Global Agenda Council on Well-being & Mental Health, in collaboration with the Government of the United Kingdom, is bringing together leaders from business, government, civil society and academia for a Strategic Dialogue on Well-being for Sustainable Economic Growth. With stakeholders from the health sphere and beyond, the dialogue will elevate the discussion on well-being from a national, organizational and individual context:

  • How can awareness be raised and evidence increased for the interdependence of well-being and growth?
  • What policies and practices build environments and cultures that are conducive to well-being?
  • How can metrics be developed to link employee well-being to the performance of organizations?
  • How can multistakeholder community programmes address individual well-being for long-term growth and prosperity? 
By aligning the understanding across sectors, it is possible to move forward with concrete, evidence-based actions to support well-being and the sustainable development of economies and societies.

In today’s world, one in four European Union citizens can expect to suffer a mental health problem during a lifetime, with up to 10% of the European population experiencing some type of depressive or anxiety-related disorder every year.

At the same time, the Council would like to continue, and encourage other stakeholders, to:

  • Raise awareness of the importance, prevalence and burden of mental disorders
  • Make the economic case for positive mental health and well-being for business and society
  • Put in place intervention packages for the prevention of and support for mental health problems
  • Report on success measures, progress and health in annual reports of employers
  • Further the case of destigmatizing mental health
  • Catalyse global action by a set of relevant stakeholders across sectors
  • Have the support of governments and business for being open about mental health issues and the well-being of the population

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Shubhra Saxena Kabra, Knowledge Manager, Global Agenda Councils, 
Council Manager and Forum Lead: Eva Jané-Llopis, Director of Health Programmes, 


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