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.


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At Work article

Benefits outweigh costs for workplaces that accommodate people with mental illness

Business case study finds accommodations are a net gain for employers and workers
Published: July 30, 2018
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At Work article

IWH’s new guide on supporting workers with depression integrates research with practice

Evidence-based guide draws on a systematic review update and consultation with workers and managers
Published: April 26, 2018
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Research Highlights

Psychosocial work conditions and mental health

Having positive mental health is not the same as having no mental illness. The two are related, but distinct, concepts. A study by IWH suggests that better psychosocial work conditions—greater job security, job control and social support—can have greater influence on one more than the other.
Published: June 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Stressful by design: exploring health risks of ride-share work

Published: Journal of Transport & Health, June 2019
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Tools and guides

Supporting return to work among employees with musculoskeletal or mental health conditions: an evidence-based practical resource

This resource synthesizes the research evidence on the practical solutions that workplaces can implement (in conjunction with workers' compensation, insurance and health-care authorities) to support the return to work of employees with musculoskeletal disorders or mental health conditions.
Published: May 2019
Journal article
Journal article
Journal article

Employer strategies for preventing mental health related work disability: a scoping review

Published: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, March 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Dissecting the effect of workplace exposures on workers' rating of psychological health and safety

Published: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, March 2019
Journal article
Workers Health & Safety Centre logo
IWH in the media

Work-related stressors impact women and men differently, research finds

Exposure to psychosocial hazards at work adds to the growing health burden stress places upon both women and men, according to recently published Canadian research. Researchers from Institute for Work and Health found women reported lower job control, higher job strain (low job control combined with high job demands) and higher co-worker support compared with men. Women and men were found to have similar levels of job insecurity and supervisor support.
Published: Workers Health & Safety Centre, August 2018