Objectives: To provide a range of standard evidence-informed recommendations for the primary prevention of mental health problems at work. Methods: Occupational health experts and practitioners evaluated systematic reviews of primary-prevention measures for occupational mental health. A series of consensus meetings were held with the intent of developing primary-prevention guidelines for mental health at work. Results: Three preventive strategies were developed: self-care training, supervisor training, and improving the workplace environment. The guidelines for self-care training consist of four steps that coincide with the process of formulating and implementing measures to help individuals cope with stress (self-care) in the workplace: planning and preparing, deciding what self-care entails, selecting the forms of self-care, and making subsequent efforts. Six recommendations and four tips are provided for these four steps. The guidelines for supervisor mental health training have four categories: selection of training participants, content, delivery format, and frequency. Based on recent findings, we provided recommendations for the content that should be included in training. Training has been shown to improve supervisors’ knowledge, attitude, confidence, and behaviors in supporting employees with mental health problems. For improving the psychosocial work environment, 12 items were compiled, including eight recommended items and four tips in four categories: planning and organization development, implementation regarding the basic rules of procedures, proposals for effective improvement measures, and continued implementation. Conclusions: Based on the best evidence currently available, we propose guidelines for primary prevention for mental health at work.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop a practical support tool to promote activities for balancing cancer treatment and work in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to evaluate its validity and feasibility. Methods: Based on good examples of the support at SMEs from our prior study, researchers discussed the basic structure and details of such a tool and developed its first version. The validity and feasibility were examined in a focus group interview with management experts and a mail survey to human resource (HR) managers in SMEs. The final version of the support tool was prepared based on their opinions. Results: The basic structure of the developed tool comprised two parts: an assessment part for self-checking the degree of balancing treatment and work and an information provision part offering an explanation of the assessment results and tips for improvement. We prepared 24 items for checking six fields that were strongly related to balance activities. Assessment results were displayed in a radar chart so that the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own workplace could be visually determined at a glance. Management experts and HR managers evaluated this tool and found it easy to understand and useful. Conclusion: This tool seems to offer visible assessment of current activities for balancing cancer treatment and work and tips for improvement, resulting in increased motivation of employers and HR managers. We expect that this practical support tool will contribute to promote activities for balancing cancer treatment and work in many workplaces, including SMEs.