Identifying employees who are mentally imbalanced

Providing advice for recovery

12.8% ARE AT RISK AND 75% RECOVER WITHIN 3 MONTHS if they take action

Follow-up after 3 and 6 months for employees ‘at risk’

PSA-index aims to prevent absenteeism due to stress, overstrain, and burn-out by early detection of employees who are mentally imbalanced. PSA-index raises awareness among employees about the risk they may face. PSA-index achieves this by providing employees with information about their mental health and activities that employees can undertake to maintain, recover, and improve their mental well-being. It takes 6 months for someone to transition from an orange to a red score if no action is taken.

If employees in the orange/red score take action and recover, this stagnates the influx into long-term absenteeism due to mental health issues.

Compared to other questionnaires, the PSA-index is short: 57 substantive questions that you complete within 15 minutes. The questions cover mental resilience and psychosocial job stress. The employee fills out an online questionnaire. Through a traffic light system, the employee receives feedback on how he/she is doing. While filling out the questionnaire, one receives the score for each sub-item such as workload, work capacity, stress symptoms, and need for recovery. At the end of the questionnaire, the employee immediately receives the total risk score indicating the likelihood of symptoms worsening and potential absenteeism:

You are in balance.

If nothing changes, you will eventually become ill. Action required!

You are already ill. You need treatment

Depending on the result, the employee is directed to a page with explanations and advice on our website. The result can be downloaded and taken for a discussion with the general practitioner, occupational physician, or other healthcare provider.

With an orange or red score, the employee receives the questionnaire again after 3 and 6 months to see how things are then. The employee receives feedback on the effectiveness of the actions taken.

12.8% are at risk, and 75% recover within 3 months.

When a group of employees fills out this list, research shows that an average of 12.8% of employees are at risk. 75% of those who take action based on this recover within 3 months. Preventing and limiting the duration of absenteeism due to mental health issues, that’s what it’s all about! Be aware that an absentee due to, for example, burn-out has an average duration of 49 weeks in the Netherlands. If long-term absenteeism is prevented for just one employee, the costs of the PSA-index survey have already been recouped. A clear win-win for the employer and the employee.

Explaining the model

In the above model, you can see how the process works from healthy to at-risk to absenteeism. We need stress to get out of bed every day and become active. As long as we don’t experience complaints from this, we call it healthy stress. When stress increases or lasts too long, it will cost too much energy. The need for recovery increases, and it becomes difficult to recover sufficiently. The employee becomes fatigued and increasingly imbalanced. Healthy stress has now turned into distress. If the employee has received an ORANGE light, this employee already has stress-related complaints but can usually still function in work and private life. The PSA-index alerts the employee to their imbalance and encourages action. 75% of employees at risk take action and recover within 3 months.

If nothing is done, the need for recovery will continue to increase. In addition to the balance disturbance, the employee also develops other complaints. This increases emotional exhaustion (‘I can’t handle it anymore, it’s all too much for me, I can’t do it anymore‘). And also, the mental distance increases (‘I don’t care anymore‘). The stress lasts too long and is now really taking its toll. Ultimately, the employee ends up in the red phase. At that point, there are serious complaints and often prolonged absence.

The PSA-index identifies at-risk employees, provides recovery advice, and thus prevents prolonged absenteeism due to stress, burnout, and overload. In the customized variant (see licenses), the employer receives a comprehensive report, maintaining the anonymity of the participants, and, if desired, also partial reports. This report includes both the total score and the partial scores on workload, job performance, etc. Because it takes 6 months for an employee to transition from the orange phase to the red phase, we recommend applying the PSA-index scan every 6 months.