2. Sustainability
  3. People in the transformation
  4. Occupational Health
  5. Mental health

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Mental health

Maintaining, promoting and restoring the mental health of our employees are defined premises of the strategic orientation of Volkswagen AG and both in the brand-internal agenda "Health 2025+" of the Volkswagen health system and in the position paper “Mental Health” and the “Occupational Health and Safety Policy” anchored in the Volkswagen Group. The strategic goals and fields of action described in each case not only serve as a reference framework for the operational orientation of the corresponding psychological services of Volkswagen AG, but are also checked and controlled using a standardized and regularly audited key figure system.

As a central tool for early detection and prevention, the Volkswagen Checkup includes the routine anamnesis of mental health problems and impairments of employees. As part of a re-concept, efforts to identify mental impairments/diseases at an early stage are being intensified again and a risk-based screening module for “mental health” is being implemented. In addition, there is a targeted linking of the findings with defined offer and treatment paths, which enables an indication-oriented initiation of a needs-based treatment (via an extensive cooperation network).

Within Volkswagen AG, the Psychological Service of the Health Service offers competent advice on the subject of mental health. The consulting service includes both individual advice and advice, e.g. to managers on how to deal with mentally impaired/ill employees.

The individual psychological counseling is basically a voluntary offer and can be used by every employee. It is a low-threshold and needs-specific offer for the early detection of mental impairments/mental illnesses and includes the initiation of an indication-based treatment if necessary. In order to ensure that employees are treated promptly according to their needs, there are also numerous cooperations with external care/treatment structures, such as psychosomatic consultation hours by external psychiatric/psychosomatic specialists on the premises of Volkswagen Healthcare or opportunities for rapid admission to a psychosomatic rehabilitation program.

The health care system of Volkswagen AG and Audi BKK support managers within the framework of company health promotion in determining the department's internal need for prevention and taking suitable measures along the four fields of action "Physically active work and physically active employees", "Healthy nutrition in everyday work", "Stress management and Strengthening of Resources" and "Prevention of Behavioral Addiction". The offers are diverse, are constantly adapted to the needs and include podcasts, video newsletters, booklets, specialist lectures, online consulting services, special campaigns/programs and intranet contributions.

Risk assessments are carried out at all Volkswagen AG workplaces on an annual basis, with the identification of potential psychological stress at work and the derivation of measures to promote healthy working conditions being an integral part of this. Using internally developed and evaluated methods [screening tool for recording mental stress at work (STEP)], relevant stress characteristics are evaluated and necessary occupational safety measures are derived and implemented. The field of activity »Healthy workplace design« is continuously adapted to the changing world of work. In 2020, for example, the Group-wide expansion of the risk assessment to include psychological stress factors caused by the pandemic (-> additional checklist and recommendations for measures according to SARS-CoV-2) and the adoption of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for dealing with mental workloads during the pandemic situation. In 2021, the Volkswagen Group developed guidelines for hybrid working in order to meet the current challenges of the increasingly mobile and flexible working world and to make it easier for employees to make the transition to hybrid working methods. Among other things, this guide deals with the health-promoting design of mobile, flexible workplaces and explains various tools/approaches/possibilities for teams, employees and managers to stay healthy in hybrid forms of work.

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