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

Wooden blocks spell out the words 'fair,' and 'yes or no?'
At Work article

Claimants’ perception of fair treatment linked to lower odds of poor mental health

IWH study found claimants who said case managers treated them with dignity, and gave them needed information, had lower risks of psychological distress
Published: November 5, 2019
A roomful of working adults listen to a presenter
At Work article

Community program raised mental health awareness, but had little impact on workplace policy

A Thunder Bay community-based program led to greater employer knowledge of mental health issues, but little changes on the ground, finds IWH researcher
Published: October 30, 2019
Wooden blocks spell out the words 'fair,' and 'yes or no?'
At Work article

Claimants’ perception of fair treatment linked to lower odds of poor mental health

Previous studies have suggested that the process of making a workers’ compensation claim may be linked to poorer mental health. Now, an IWH study suggests that claimant's perception of fair treatment by case managers may be key.
Published: November 2019
A roomful of working adults listen to a presenter
At Work article

Community program raised mental health awareness, but had little impact on workplace policy

In Thunder Bay and surrounding area, public health officials began hearing that employers needed more resources on managing mental health. They responded with a community awareness program. According to a study, the program raised knowledge about the issue—and not just among those that took part.
Published: October 2019
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Trends in depression and anxiety among Canadian labour force participants (2000-2016)

Despite much effort aimed at improving the mental health of Canadians, we still know little about the prevalence of two common mental health conditions across the working population. In this presentation, IWH Research Associate Kathleen Dobson shares her doctoral research exploring trends in depression and anxiety disorders in the Canadian workforce, from 2000 to 2016. She also highlights the challenges in creating high-quality population-based evidence about the labour force’s mental health.
Published: October 2019
A silhouette of two palms held upward, cupping the sun
At Work article

Psychosocial work conditions linked with both positive and negative mental health

Greater job control, job security and social support at work not only lower the risks of mental disorders; they may also raise the likelihood of flourishing mental well-being.
Published: July 2019
A silhouette of two palms held upward, cupping the sun
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
Vector diagram of three hands each holding a differently coloured puzzle piece
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