Addressing Mental Health in Spain

April 30, 2020

This comprehensive guide outlines how companies can be aware of how access, cost, coverage, stigma and other challenges vary in different markets, and highlights company strategies, country snapshots and resources that may be useful as they implement their programs around the world.

This section covers information about mental health stigma, access and treatment, and provides recommendations for employers and resources on NGOs/National Campaigns in Spain.

Stigma surrounding mental health conditions, especially for suicide, present obstacles to mental health access and care in Spain.

  • EAP providers say that mental health is often seen as a weakness, and many managers think stress is a byproduct of high motivation and engagement.
  • It is still difficult for employers in Spain to discuss topics like suicide, anxiety or depression, and it isn’t easy to find accurate statistics on the topic, although generally the rate has increased.
    • In 2016, there were two times more deaths by suicide than car accidents.25

    Snapshot of the Health System Landscape

    hospital bed

    Mental hospital beds: 28.15 per 100,000 population.

    General hospital psychiatric unit beds: 14.31 per 100,000 population.


    Government mental health spend as % of total health spend

    Government mental health spend as % of total health spend

    yes check

    National health insurance or reimbursement scheme includes the care and treatment of persons with major mental disorders (defined as psychosis, bipolar disorder, depression).*

    health care workers

    Total mental health workers: 15.43 per 100,000 population


    Persons pay nothing (fully insured) for mental health services/psychotropic medicine..

    yes check

    Government-adopted or national policy for suicide prevention strategy

    12% of inpatient populations stays for more than a year

    43% of the inpatient population stays for more than a year.

    *According to data submitted to the World Health Organization (2017)

    • Stress is more openly discussed.
    • When it comes to services like EAP, providers say that confidentiality of service and how the EAP works are significant issues when employees make an initial call.
      • Employees often don’t understand or believe that what they say will be kept confidential from their employer.25

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Organizational Stress

Spain has a strict labor law that includes regular psychosocial risk evaluations. Organizations are mandated to measure the level of stress in the workforce every 4 years, and the evaluation is reviewed by labor inspectors. Experts say that the government has made the law stringent as a way of ensuring that employers will comply with at least the minimum requirement, but currently there aren’t many followup actions being taken, particularly in small and medium enterprises.25 Policymakers are also currently debating whether it’s a company’s responsibility and workplace health issue if an employee suffers from burnout or stress.55

Addressing Mental Health in Spain

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