Mental health and work

Awareness is growing about the importance of how the work environment, in particular the psychosocial environment, can impact the mental health of workers. Awareness is also growing about the differing work accommodation and return-to-work needs of workers with mental—versus physical—health conditions. Our research aims to identify and measure psychosocial hazards and explore how dimensions of the psychosocial work environment can promote positive mental health or lead to poorer mental health. Our research also explores workplace and system-level strategies for helping workers with mental health conditions—including post-traumatic stress disorders—stay in and return to work.

Latest findings

A man works at a computer in an dark, empty office late at night, with his head in his hand

Working unpaid overtime linked with high stress and burnout: IWH study

Building on research linking overtime work to mental health concerns, an IWH study investigated how unpaid overtime is associated with mental health in Canada’s working population. They found that that the more unpaid overtime hours worked, the more likely a worker is to report stress and burnout.
A woman dressed in work attire looks out a window with her arms folded.

What is the impact of depression on years of employment among working-age adults?

If someone experiences depression, what is the impact on the length of their future working life? It depends on how, and when, someone experiences depression. An IWH study found five trajectories of depression in working adults, each with varied impacts on the length of their working life.
A police officer with their back turned faces a group of people walking around.

Police service members face challenges with accommodation, communication and trust when returning to work after an injury

A recent IWH study examined the experiences of sworn and civilian Ontario police service members returning to their jobs after experiencing an injury or illness. It found their RTW challenges revolved around five main themes.