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WHO Classifies Burnout As An "Occupational Phenomenon" For The First Time In History

Burnout is defined as a syndrome resulting from "chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed".

Cover image via Luxembourg Times

For the first time ever, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised burnout as an "occupational phenomenon"

On Tuesday, 28 May, the World Health Assembly in Geneva concluded its decision to label burnout in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a benchmark widely used by diagnosis and health insurers, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Connect Coworking

According to WHO, the term 'burnout' is defined as "a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed"

Patients with the condition could suffer from these three symptoms:

1. Feeling depleted of energy or exhausted,

2. Feeling mentally distanced from or cynical about one's job, and

3. Having problems getting work done efficiently.


Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Volusion

WHO added that the classification is only applicable to work and does not describe other areas of one's life

"This is the first time burnout has been included in the classification", WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters, New Straits Times reported.

The updated ICD list (ICD-11) will come into effect in January 2022 following recommendations by health experts globally last year.

Meanwhile, WHO intends to develop "evidence-based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace," CBS News revealed.

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