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

13 colourful cardboards, each with a question mark cut-out in the middle, overlap each other in a pile
At Work article

Widely used survey lacks ability to tell apart 13 distinct psychosocial work factors

The Guarding Minds @ Work survey is designed to measure 13 dimensions of the psychosocial work environment. But a study of its measurement properties, carried out by IWH and OHCOW, finds it unable to measure each dimension in isolation.
Published: May 24, 2022
A young woman looks at her phone in frustration and exasperation
At Work article

Poor interactions with case managers linked with risk of mental illness later on

A new Ontario study finds face higher risks of serious psychological distress among injured workers who report not being treated with respect or not given the information they need in their interactions with case managers.
Published: March 9, 2022
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Return to work in Ontario police services: Current experiences and practices

What challenges do members of police services, both sworn officers and civilian staff, face in their recovery and return to work after a work injury?  In this presentation, IWH Scientist Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd shares what he heard from police members⁠—those who were injured as well as those supporting return-to-work⁠— in a qualitative study on return to work in Ontario police services. Using quotes and examples, he also offers suggestions on policies and practices that emerged from the data and that police services can implement to improve the return-to-work process. 
Published: October 2022
13 colourful cardboards, each with a question mark cut-out in the middle, overlap each other in a pile
At Work article

Widely used survey lacks ability to tell apart 13 distinct psychosocial work factors

The Guarding Minds @ Work survey is designed to measure 13 dimensions of the psychosocial work environment. But a study of its measurement properties, carried out by IWH and OHCOW, finds it unable to measure each dimension in isolation.
Published: May 2022
A young woman looks at her phone in frustration and exasperation
At Work article

Poor interactions with case managers linked with risk of mental illness later on

A new Ontario study finds face higher risks of serious psychological distress among injured workers who report not being treated with respect or not given the information they need in their interactions with case managers.
Published: March 2022
Workers Health & Safety Centre logo
IWH in the media

MSD prevention should consider role of gender and psychosocial hazards too

Workplaces need to examine how work is organized and assigned by gender if they want to understand and address the real root causes of musculoskeletal injuries (MSDs). WHSC reports on a virtual RSI Day event hosted by the Manitoba Federation of Labour’s Occupational Health Centre with support from SAFE Work Manitoba. As part of the program IWH scientists Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd and Dr. Heather Johnston offered an interactive presentation exploring common work-related risk factors for both musculoskeletal and psychological injury.
Published: Workers Health & Safety Centre, March 2022
Journal article
Journal article

Longitudinal reciprocal relationships between the psychosocial work environment and burnout

Published: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, March 2022
Canadian HR Reporter logo
IWH in the media

Employees, leaders differ on mental health supports

Despite lots of talk around the importance of good mental health while on the job, the supports for workers are still lacking. John Dujay interviews Institute for Work & Health Scientist Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd on his study examining mental health supports, from the perspectives of workers and managers.
Published: Canadian HR Reporter, February 2022
An overhead shot of a woman holding her head in front of a laptop
At Work article

IWH study finds psychosocial work stressors lead to burnout, but not vice versa

Research is starting to show that psychosocial work conditions can lead to burnout. But can burnout in turn influence a person’s relationship to their work? A new study at IWH examines whether a negative feedback loop exists between work stressors and burnout.
Published: February 2022
Journal article
Journal article

Inclusion of Indigenous workers in workplace mental health

Published: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, January 2022