One in 7 persons in the world undergoing mental, substance use disorders: report


About 14% of the world’s population, that is one-in-seven persons across the world, is currently experiencing one or more mental or substance use disorders, according to the recently released International SOS Risk Map.

 The SOS Risk Map highlights the security and medical risk level present in countries across the world. 

Dr Vikram Vora, Medical Director, Indian Subcontinent, International SOS said, “Despite the easing of the pandemic, there have been significant increases in the risks associated with travel and health.”

“While changing environmental and disease patterns have magnified existing risks like those of infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases are resurging – requiring organisations to renew their focus on employee health and wellbeing,” he said. 

“The expanding dimension of mental health issues within the workforce is challenging organisations to upgrade their Duty of Care responsibilities from physical health to overall wellbeing,” he added. 

The Risk Map 2023 helps organisations by facilitating decision-making that can protect employees’ health and wellbeing through easy identification of geographical areas that may be of medical concern. 

The Risk Outlook survey has shown that most organisations are maintaining travel risk management budgets or increasing them to grow employee travel to pre-pandemic levels. 

On the Risk Outlook 2023, Neeraj Balani, Managing Director, International SOS, Indian Subcontinent said, “The immediate crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic may have passed, but businesses and governments have yet to reach calmer waters.”

“Labour market shifts and talent shortages added to the mix. This disruption has been further deepened by geopolitical uncertainty and the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” he said. 

“We continue to support organisations through uncertain times, helping them keep their global workforce safe in a world of altered risk profiles,” he added. 

He further said that employees are more attuned to risks, and many are now more anxious about travel than pre-pandemic. 

“Organisations must account for risk rating changes and trends in their planning. Our traveller tracking data shows international travel now at 83% of pre-COVID volumes, but travellers are twice as likely to call for advice or assistance,” he said. 

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused institutional exhaustion, we need to remain vigilant for the inevitable next influenza pandemic,” he added.

The Risk Map also provides a better understanding of the wider security situation in countries which mobile workers may be travelling through or working in.

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