“Currently, mental health disorders are increasing – even more in the context of the pandemic”
28th of January 2021
Course leader presentation: Angelique de Rijk
Work Disability Prevention – Bridging research and practice
14th – 18th of June 2021
What is your background?
I have a master’s degree in Work & Organisational Psychology (master thesis on burnout under supervision of prof. Schaufeli) in 1994. I obtained my PhD in Health Psychology in 1999. Since then I have been working at Maastricht University in the area of Work & Health.
My research focus is on sickness absence and return to work determinants and interventions, labour participation with chronic diseases (e.g. cancer), sickness absence policy, sustainable employability and burnout. I was guest researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. As Maastricht University has a longstanding and unique experience with bachelor and master level education in Work & Health and academic staff dedicates 50% of their working time to education, I have extensive experience with education in this field.
In recent years, I have developed and given burnout prevention workshops for PhD-students, medical interns and other risk groups.
Why do you think that Work Disability Prevention and Intervention is an important and current issue to discuss in 2021?
During 2016-2018 we had a successful series on the topic, with a unique interaction between researchers and practitioners from all over the world. Currently, mental health disorders are increasing – even more in the context of the pandemic. There is much scientific knowledge on the background of mental health disorders in an occupational context, but knowledge is not well-disseminated nor put in practice. What we need are better mental health interventions for people in working age and better implementation strategies, also in collaboration with employers, and that is what we will focus on in this course. Further, designing interventions in a way that they meet needs of all stakeholders, and paying attention to the organizational and political context of the intervention in order to improve implementation in practice, applies to improving the wellbeing of all persons in working age, not only those with mental problems.
What do you want to say to the participants of the course?
Expect new knowledge, new ideas on how to use this knowledge in your research and in practice, inspiration to really take the steps needed to improving the wellbeing of persons in working age and life-long friendships with colleagues within and outside your country.