Considerations for Incorporating “Well-Being” in Public Policy for Workers and Workplaces

Conference: 2015 CCSME Annual Membership Meeting | A Changing Landscape: How National Trends in Behavioral Health Affect Your Practice

Tuesday, Nov 17, 2015
University of Southern Maine, Portland Workshop/Presentation: Keynote
Paul A. Schulte, Rebecca J. Guerin, Anita L. Schill, Anasua Bhattacharya, Thomas R. Cunningham, Sudha P. Pandalai, Donald Eggerth, and Carol M. Stephenson, PhD

Action to address workforce functioning and productivity requires a broader approach than the traditional scope of occupational safety and health. Focus on “well-being” may be one way to develop a more encompassing objective. Well-being is widely cited in public policy pronouncements, but often as “…and well-being” (e.g., health and well-being). It is generally not defined in policy and rarely operationalized for functional use. Many definitions of well-being exist in the occupational realm. Generally, it is a synonym for health and a summative term to describe a flourishing worker who benefits from a safe, supportive workplace, engages in satisfying work, and enjoys a fulfilling work life. We identified issues for considering well-being in public policy related to workers and the workplace.

(Am J Public Health. 2015;105:e31–e44. doi:10.2105/AJPH. 2015.302616)