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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume VI, Interventions and Policies to Enhance Wellbeing by Felicia Huppert, Cary Cooper

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Introduction to Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide

Cary L. Cooper

Lancaster University, U.K.

This series of six volumes explores one of the most important social issues of our times, that of how to enhance the mental wellbeing of people, whether in the developed, developing, or underdeveloped world, and across the life course from birth to old age. We know that 1 in 4–6 people in most countries in the world suffer from a common mental disorder of anxiety, depression, or stress. We also know that mental ill health costs countries billions of dollars per annum. In the United Kingdom, for example, mental health-care costs have amounted to over £77 billion per annum, the bill for sickness absence and presenteeism (people turning up to work ill or not delivering due to job stress) in the workplace is another £26 billion, and the costs of dementia will rise from £20 billion to an estimated £50 billion in 25 years' time (Cooper, Field, Goswami, Jenkins, & Sahakian, 2009). In Germany, the leading cause of early retirement from work in 1989 was musculoskeletal disease but by 2004 it was stress and mental ill health, now representing 40% of all early retirements (German Federal Health Monitoring, 2007). In many European countries (e.g., Finland, Holland, Norway, and Switzerland) the cost of lost productive value due to lack of mental wellbeing is a significant proportion of gross domestic product (McDaid, Knapp, Medeiros, & MHEEN Group, 2008). Indeed, the costs of depression alone in ...

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