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Burnout From Work Is Now A Mental Health Issue, According To The World Health Organization

A woman stressed at work.
A woman stressed at work.
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A new, expanded definition of “burnout” by the World Health Organization (WHO) characterizes it as a “syndrome.”

While burnout is included in the previous version of WHO’s disease handbook, the ICD-10, it used to only be defined as a “state of vital exhaustion,” whereas the new definition ties it to work related stressors.  

The new definition gives more legitimacy to those experiencing serious workplace stress and makes it easier for them to seek professional help.

WHO has also announced that it plans on developing evidence based guidelines on mental well being in the workplace.

Larry talks to Torsten Voigt, a sociologist who co-authored a review of existing studies on burnout in 2017 and is an expert on the issue.

We reached out to the World Health Organization for comment. They are unable to join us today.


Torsten Voigt, professor of sociology at RWTH Aachen University in Germany who co-authored an influential review of existing studies on burnout in 2017