JIU issues first report on mental health and well-being within the UN system

The Joint Inspection Unit is pleased to announce the release of its report on mental health and well-being policies and practices within the United Nations system prepared by Inspectors Eileen A. Cronin and Keiko Kamioka. The review, the first to comprehensively cover the topic of mental health and well-being, is timely considering the adjustments that participating organizations implemented during the pandemic as well as the conclusion of the first phase of the implementation of the UN System Mental Health and Well-being strategy. 

The review points to a series of data sets that suggest a declining state of mental health and well-being of UN personnel even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It underscores the need for an evidence-based and data-driven approach to the mental health and well-being of the United Nations workforce both within participating organizations and across the system.  

The Inspectors also highlight how the interagency workstreams for mental health are structured in the UN system and how they could be improved, in particular the Implementation Board tasked to oversee the UN system strategy on mental health and well-being, for which suggestions are made concerning its governance, composition and resources. 

The review makes 11 formal recommendations: 8 to executive heads, one to the Secretary General, one to the United Nations General Assembly and one to legislative and governing bodies.  

A management letter, “Findings, conclusions and recommendations relevant to the work of the High-level Committee on Management on mental health and well-being policies and practices in United Nations system organizations” has also been prepared by Inspector Eileen A. Cronin. The letter is intended to inform the CEB/HLCM ahead of its 46th session where the “2024 and beyond UN System Mental Health and Well-being Strategy” will be considered. 

Access the full report here 
Access the review highlights and the complementary file here