Sustainable Workplace Mental Well Being for Sustainable SMEs: How?

Ayse Basak Cinar, Stephane Bilodeau (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainable mental health and wellbeing (MHW), as addressed under SDG3, is crucial for achieving sustainable development, notably for sustainable SMEs growth. MWH is specifically interlinked with SDGs 8, 9 and 11: Economic growth and prosperity, sustainable communities, innovation, and jobs. Studies show over 200 million workdays are lost due to poor MHW each year, referring to the global cost of $1 trillion/year in lost productivity and it is increasing every year. Poor workplace MWH is almost an epidemic after COVID-19. It will be a significant challenge for a long time, in particular for SMEs which are hit hardest by the pandemic, as MHW problems have been shown to be a COVID side effect among 1:5 people. Despite the multifactorial aetiology of MHW (individual, social, environmental, and organizational), interventions for workplace MHW mostly refer to ‘one size fits all’ and top-down solutions, primarily asking for the commitment and behaviour change of employees; that has shown to be ineffective. The main assumption underlying the present work is the need for a proactive and tailored MHW frameworks that can be blended to organizational policies. The objective which corresponds to the main purpose of the paper is to provide a 5-staged MWH model, stemming from our evidence-based studies, that may speak for the identified need. We also discuss how the Model can provide a route map on how SMEs can implement and measure SDGs relevant to their business in synergistic interaction with SDG3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5290
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022


  • 5-staged model
  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • mental health and wellbeing policy
  • SDG11
  • SDG3
  • SDG8
  • SDG9
  • Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • wellbeing
  • workplace


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