Sustainable mental health and wellbeing (MHW), as addressed under SDG3, is crucial for achieving sustainable development, notably for sustainable SMEs growth. MWH is specifically interlinked with SDGs 8, 9 and 11: Economic growth and prosperity, sustainable communities, innovation, and jobs. Studies show over 200 million workdays are lost due to poor MHW each year, referring to the global cost of $1 trillion/year in lost productivity and it is increasing every year. Poor workplace MWH is almost an epidemic after COVID-19. It will be a significant challenge for a long time, in particular for SMEs which are hit hardest by the pandemic, as MHW problems have been shown to be a COVID side effect among 1:5 people. Despite the multifactorial aetiology of MHW (individual, social, environmental, and organizational), interventions for workplace MHW mostly refer to ‘one size fits all’ and top-down solutions, primarily asking for the commitment and behaviour change of employees; that has shown to be ineffective. The main assumption underlying the present work is the need for a proactive and tailored MHW frameworks that can be blended to organizational policies. The objective which corresponds to the main purpose of the paper is to provide a 5-staged MWH model, stemming from our evidence-based studies, that may speak for the identified need. We also discuss how the Model can provide a route map on how SMEs can implement and measure SDGs relevant to their business in synergistic interaction with SDG3.


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Cinar, A. & Bilodeau, S. 2022, 'Sustainable Workplace Mental Well Being for Sustainable SMEs: How?', Sustainability, 14(9), article no: 5290. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095290

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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