For the first time, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have officially classified workplace burn-out as an occupational phenomenon, in its latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
Burn-out was previously defined as a ‘state of vital exhaustion’ but the term has now been directly linked as a work hazard, in its classification of diseases.
The agency defines ‘burn-out is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’, and is classified by three factors:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feeling of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
- and reduced professional efficacy
The syndrome is not a medical condition, but it has been included as a cause for which people may contact health services for a reason other than an illness or health condition.
The WHO plan to develop evidence-based guidelines for mental well-being in the workplace and member nations are set to implement the revisions to the International Classification of Diseases by 2022.
For more information, visit https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/burn-out/en/