DENMARK: Discrimination at work and development of depressive disorders

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Employees who are discriminated against in various ways are almost three times more likely to develop depression. This is the finding of a new study by the National Work Environment Research Centre (NFA).

Discrimination at work has been a long-standing problem. But research into its effects on mental health is scarce. The NFA therefore took an interest in the issue. A questionnaire sent to 2157 workers, all of whom were free of depressive disorders at the outset, asked them whether they had been discriminated against because of their gender, age, ethnic origin, religion, health status or sexuality in the past year. About 5% answered in the affirmative.

The survey shows that women are more likely to experience discrimination at work, at 6% compared to 3.7% for men. In addition, the sectors of trade with direct contact with customers, hotels/restaurants and education are the most affected. The culture and leisure industry and services and care for the elderly were also above the national average.

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