Mental health in the workplace

Workplaces play a dual role in the area of mental health. On the one hand, they can be a stressful environment that contributes to mental health problems among workers. On the other hand, they can play an important part in helping to detect and manage mental health problems when they arise among workers, and in ensuring the healthy recovery and return of workers who are off work due to a mental health issue. IWH research in this area helps paint a clearer picture of the prevalence of mental health problems among workers, the types of labour force and workplace factors that may contribute to poor mental health, and the workplace-based and system prevention efforts that can help improve the mental health of workers and ensure they have the proper supports when needed.

Featured

A line drawing of a male figure slumped in a chair, head in hand
At Work article

Having depression leads to lower earnings over 10 years: study

How much does experiencing a depressive episode hurt an individual's earning potential in Canada? That was the question IWH Research Associate Kathleen Dobson set out to answer.
Published: April 9, 2021
A worker wearing an apron and a cloth facial mask
At Work article

Adequacy of COVID infection control and PPE linked to workers’ mental health: study

Workers who felt safe at their physical work sites had better mental health than workers who felt workplace COVID-19 safety practices were inadequate, according to a study conducted by IWH and OHCOW at the start of the COVID-19 emergency.
Published: November 4, 2020
Talent Canada logo
IWH in the media

Work-related mental illnesses cost more than physical injuries do

When workers suffer from chronic stress or other mental illnesses related to their work, many organizations are at a loss. So, too, are workers’ compensation systems and health-care providers, according to an study conducted by IWH and Monash University. We need to change the way we view, respond to, and accommodate these conditions, writes Dr. Peter Smith in an op/ed.
Published: Talent Canada, May 2021
A line drawing of a male figure slumped in a chair, head in hand
At Work article

Having depression leads to lower earnings over 10 years: study

How much does experiencing a depressive episode hurt an individual's earning potential in Canada? That was the question IWH Research Associate Kathleen Dobson set out to answer.
Published: April 2021
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Differences in the return-to-work process for work-related psychological and musculoskeletal conditions: findings from an Australian cohort

Many workers’ compensation agencies across Canada have begun accepting claims for chronic mental stress that results from work. In other jurisdictions where psychological claims have been accepted, such types of claims have been linked with greater costs and longer time off compared to physical claims. The potential reasons for these differences have not been well understood. In this IWH Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Peter Smith presents findings from a cohort study of 869 workers’ compensation claimants in the Australian state of Victoria. He highlights differences between the two groups of claimants (psychological and musculoskeletal) in their experiences of the claim and return-to-work processes, and discusses lessons for Canadian jurisdictions.
Published: April 2021
Journal article
Journal article
Journal article
Journal article
Journal article

Assessing the psychosocial work environment in relation to mental health: a comprehensive approach

Published: Annals of Work Exposures and Health, February 2021