Health risks among mental health workers are real and can bring about a loss of physical or psychic well-being, or of professional development and opportunities. Occupational stress, or an inappropriate use of human resources can stimulate the onset of mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and enhance dysfunctional lifestyles, source of organic diseases, such as metabolic syndrome or cardiac ischemia. Moreover, a stressed individual falls ill more frequently, works less efficiently and has a higher risk of being subject to work injury or to make professional errors. Consequently, a new field of study surfaces focused on the dysfunctional or constrictive aspects of an organisation, aspects now considered independent risk factors - psychosocial risks. The law - ex Law 81/2008 - mentions these psychosocial risks and underlines the employer’s and the worker’s obligations. In this article the author describes the dynamics related to occupational stress and suggests appropriate preventive measures.
Keywords: Stress, occupational strain, anxiety, depression, cognitiveemotional fitness