Mental Health and the Workplace

Three-quarters of employers report that mental health problems are the primary cause of short-term and long-term claims within their organizations.


The stress

The modern use of the word “stress” has taken root in Canada a just over fifty years ago. Dr Hans Selye (1907-1982), first director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery of the University of Montreal was the first to use this term. Dr Selye, the founder of the field of study on stress, recognized internationally, received the distinction of Companion of the Order of Canada for his pioneering research. He distinguished two kinds of stress: the good stress that contributes to illness and ill health.

Good stress stimulates and motivates employees. Poor stress leads to absenteeism, disability, staff turnover and poor productivity. This type of destructive stress is of increasing concern to employers.

Pressure is inevitable in workplaces. Stress can be negative when work demands and pressures do not match the skills of an employee and when the employee has little control or support from others.

Employees under stress may experience a wide range of symptoms including irritability, poor concentration and decision-making, heart disease, digestive problems, high blood pressure or low back problems. They can develop addictions. Stress can make a person more vulnerable to infections and communicable diseases and can trigger depression.

Workplaces that value job satisfaction, promote work-life balance and promote a supportive and supportive culture experience less stress-related problems.


The Depression

The prediction is that depression will rank second after heart disease as the leading cause of disability internationally by the year 2020. Depression is also a major cause of death and serious injury – People who are trying to commit suicide suffer from depression. Only one person in three suffering from depression is seeking adequate treatment. For people treated, the success rate is very high. Today’s medications and therapies can help between 80 and 90 percent of people affected by clinical depression.

Depressions affect one-tenth of the population, including one-tenth of all employees. Depressive disorders account for 30 to 40 percent of all the money paid medical plans for mental illness. Although its root causes are not necessarily work-related, its effects are definitely related to it – productivity declines, replacement costs and disability payments. The employer has a clear interest in identifying and addressing depression at the earliest possible stage.

Depression is not usually regulated at home. More often, the workplace plays a key role in detection and referral for treatment. Most depressed employees try to hide their problems for reasons of shame, fear of stigmatization and fear of being knocked out or reprimanded.

The symptoms of depression vary greatly from one person to another. An employee may attempt to stay indented or appear “shot down”. Irritability, lack of enthusiasm, fatigue or abuse of alcohol or other drugs may serve as an indicator of depression. Effects on work may include problems with decision-making and concentration, poor productivity, more errors and accidents, and increased absenteeism.

If you think that a co-worker may be suffering from depression, show respect and support. On a confidential basis, encourage them to talk to a doctor, an occupational health nurse or an employee support professional who can refer him to the right kind of treatment.




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