It’s essential that we do everything we can at a societal level to protect and promote mental health

With a background rooted in public health science and expertise in epidemiology, Ida E.H. Madsen is dedicated to enhancing workplace mental health. As we look forward to the course ‘Workplace Mental Health’ in Copenhagen in October, we dove into her career, research pursuits and the path toward creating mentally healthy work environments.

Background and journey into research

I’ve had a keen interest in mental health ever since studying at university and being introduced to the area of public health. Mental health is crucial for human functioning and wellbeing, and it’s essential that we do everything we can at a societal level to protect and promote it.

I knew quite early on that I wanted to pursue a career in research. I’ve been fascinated by the process of generating new knowledge and learning more about how the world works and how people are affected by their environment. My interest in the role of work and working conditions began at university when I took a course on psychosocial working conditions and health, led by Reiner Rugulies, who later became my supervisor and colleague.

Career highlights

Last year, we published an invited discussion paper in the Lancet focusing on the relationship between work and mental health. It was a great experience to collaborate with some of the leading scholars in my field on such an important piece. Another great experience was the completion of the PhD project of a student I have been supervising, who analyzed data from the Danish Work Life Course Cohort (DaWCo), a register-based cohort that I initiated a number of years ago. The cohort now includes all young employees who first entered the labor market since 1995, and it has been a great pleasure to see some of the many potentials of the cohort fulfilled. Hopefully, there will be many more projects from the cohort, as there is much potential still unexplored.

The impact of work on mental health

Mental health and the role of the workplace in relation to mental health are attracting a lot of attention in the broader public in recent years. As a society, we need people of working age to be healthy, both mentally and physically, to contribute their best through work and in other areas of life. There are growing numbers of individuals experiencing mental health problems, making it a topic of high societal importance to prevent these problems and ensure the recovery of those affected.

My aim in research is to generate knowledge that helps us better understand how work may impact our mental health. Such knowledge is crucial for implementing effective prevention measures against mental health problems.

About the upcoming course

I find that NIVA courses are a great opportunity to learn from, interact with, and exchange knowledge with others who share your interest in a certain topic, in this case, research on workplace mental health. We have invited some of the leading scholars in our field, and it is my hope and expectation that the course will provide participants with an overview of our knowledge on this important topic and update them on the latest research developments. I hope that participants will leave the course with a sense that they have learned something new and gained different perspectives on what work means for mental health, how workplaces can contribute to preventing mental health problems, and promoting positive aspects of mental health.”

Course: 1sd – 3rd of October 2024, Scandic Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark

More informationCourse web page | Course registration | Last registration date: 28.8.2024.