Mental health issues in the workplace a growing concern for Canadian employers (report)

In this timely report released yes­ter­day on PR Newsire, Cana­dian employer data is col­lected and ana­lyzed to show that EAPs “Cana­di­ans’ qual­ity of life, reduce the eco­nomic chal­lenges of reduced pro­duc­tiv­ity in the work­place and ease the pres­sure on the health­care system.”
In today’s age, a stag­ger­ing one in five Cana­di­ans strug­gle with the bur­den of men­tal health issues such as stress, anx­i­ety and depres­sion, among oth­ers.1 The every­day chal­lenges that these indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­ence puts a sig­nif­i­cant strain on not only their per­sonal, but also their pro­fes­sional lives. Employ­ers con­tinue to grap­ple with the impacts of men­tal health issues in the work­place and to iden­tify the best means of sup­port­ing their employ­ees — enter Employee Assis­tance Pro­grams (EAPs).

EAPs pro­vide employ­ees with coun­selling and refer­ral ser­vices to help them cope with men­tal health issues, which are the lead­ing cause of long-term dis­abil­ity, and a major cause of short-term dis­abil­ity, con­flict at work and absence. In fact, in an aver­age week, more than 500,000 Cana­di­ans will not go to work because of men­tal ill­ness.2,3 While EAPs are an impor­tant means of pro­vid­ing assis­tance to address a wide vari­ety of prob­lems, the ques­tion remains, how well known and under­stood are these pro­grams among the Cana­dian workforce?

We’ve long known that coun­selling and sup­port ser­vices, like those offered by employee assis­tance pro­grams, improve the lives of those strug­gling under the weight of dif­fi­cult men­tal health issues such as  anx­i­ety and depres­sion,” says Allan Stordy, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Arete Human Resources Inc. (AHRI), a lead­ing national provider of EAPs, unique busi­ness assis­tance pro­grams (BAPs) and the com­mis­sion­ers of the study. “But now we can link these pos­i­tive results to a very real cost sav­ings for employ­ers and our pub­licly funded health care system.”

Accord­ing to the study, sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in men­tal health were seen in indi­vid­u­als with access to an EAP with reduc­tions in depres­sion, anx­i­ety and stress lev­els three months after the last coun­selling ses­sion. After EAP use, pub­lic health care uti­liza­tion relat­ing to spe­cial­ist vis­its was reduced. Fur­ther, the study found that reduced work pro­duc­tiv­ity and sig­nif­i­cant employer costs observed at intake high­lighted an orga­ni­za­tional need for the ser­vices. At time of intake, 66 per cent of par­tic­i­pants had per­for­mance issues that pro­duced an esti­mated aver­age eco­nomic loss of $1,063 in the last four weeks for employ­ers. This trans­lated into an aver­age annual loss per par­tic­i­pant of almost $13,000 asso­ci­ated with absen­teeism and presenteeism.

As an employer, our main pri­or­ity is to help our employ­ees main­tain a suit­able work-life bal­ance and pro­vide them with nec­es­sary sup­ports when they have chal­lenges in their lives that affect their work per­for­mance,” says Peter Strat­ton, Chief Peo­ple Offi­cer at West­ern Finan­cial Group. “Insti­tut­ing an EAP has enabled us to play an enhanced role in con­tribut­ing to the over­all well-being of our employ­ees, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing last summer’s flood in Alberta. This pro­gram is a crit­i­cal part of our employee ben­e­fit pro­gram and one which is well-respected by our West­ern staff.”

Indi­vid­ual, employer and social out­comes all con­tribute to improved work­place men­tal health. Through EAPs, pos­i­tive impacts involv­ing all stake­hold­ers are achiev­able. Prior to enter­ing the EAP pro­gram 66 per cent of all study par­tic­i­pants reported hav­ing mod­er­ate, severe or extremely severe prob­lems with stress, anx­i­ety or depres­sion. Three months after com­plet­ing the coun­selling pro­gram less than 32 per cent fell into these same categories.

Liv­ing with Men­tal Health Issues
Men­tal ill­ness can affect any­one, no mat­ter the age, gen­der or race. Liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness presents a sig­nif­i­cant bur­den for indi­vid­u­als and their family/friends, largely due to the fear and stig­mas asso­ci­ated with the con­di­tion. Inter­est­ingly, a mere 50 per cent of Cana­di­ans are open with friends or co-workers about a fam­ily mem­ber with a men­tal ill­ness in com­par­i­son to 72 per cent who openly dis­cuss a diag­no­sis of can­cer, for instance.4 Also of note is that 20 per cent of Cana­di­ans will per­son­ally expe­ri­ence a men­tal ill­ness dur­ing their life­time; how­ever, main­tain­ing good men­tal health is equally as impor­tant as main­tain­ing good phys­i­cal health.5

About the Study
Inves­ti­gat­ing the global value of a Cana­dian Employee Assis­tance Pro­gram is the first of its kind to exam­ine the eco­nomic and social impact of men­tal health chal­lenges and the value being pro­vided by EAPs in help­ing peo­ple man­age these issues. A sam­ple of Cana­dian employ­ees was vol­un­tar­ily tracked before and three months after access to AHRI’s EAP ser­vices Arive® and Acumin®.

Ref­er­ences


1 Smetanin, P., Stiff, D., Bri­ante, C., Adair, C., Ahmad, S., & Khan, M. (2011). The list and eco­nomic impact of major men­tal ill­nesses in Canada: 2011 to 2041., Risk­An­a­lyt­ica, on behalf of the Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion of Canada.
2 Cal­cu­lated from data in Dewa, Chau, and Der­mer (2010), “Exam­in­ing the Com­par­a­tive Inci­dence and Costs of Phys­i­cal and Men­tal Health-Related Dis­abil­i­ties in an Employed Pop­u­la­tion,” and Sta­tis­tics Canada employ­ment data.
3 Cal­cu­lated from data in Insti­tute of Health Eco­nom­ics (2007), “Men­tal Health Eco­nom­ics Sta­tis­tics in Your Pocket,” and Sta­tis­tics Canada — Labour Sta­tis­tics Divi­sion (2011), “Work Absence Rates 2010.“
4 Cana­dian Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion (2008). 8th Annual National Report Card on Health Care.
5 Pub­lic Health Agency of Canada. A Report on Men­tal Ill­nesses in Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/miic-mmac/chap_1-eng.php. Accessed Jan­u­ary 2014.

Source Report (PDF For­mat): Down­load here

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Could a worksite wellness program be hazardous to your health?

An inter­est­ing take on the fast-growing plethora of “well­ness” pro­grams (and we use those quotes inten­tion­ally). Per­haps not as ripe with poten­tial harm as the snake-oil of yes­ter­year, there are cer­tainly some pit­falls to avoid in the plan­ning and selec­tion of who may be that ‘provider of choice’ for your own well­ness program.

Three Sur­pris­ing Haz­ards of Work­site Well­ness Pro­grams” is an edi­to­r­ial just released in Forbes (Feb 4) and the author opines on just this…in the con­text of a comic book pro­posal, if you can believe.

Although geared towards cau­tious crit­i­cism of Oba­macare and work­site well­ness pro­grams ‘requir­ing’ par­tic­i­pa­tion, have a read. Though Home­wood Health does not endorse any of the com­ments expressed by the author of the edi­to­r­ial (e.g. “these pro­grams apply equal mea­sures of coer­cion and dis­paragmenet toward the peo­ple they are sup­posed to help” we do agree that more care­ful and informed plan­ning is needed before an employer makes that all impor­tant selec­tion choice.

Reflect­ing on a book “Sur­viv­ing Work­place Wellness…with Your Dig­nity” the author of the edi­to­r­ial has this thesis:

The authors [of Sur­viv­ing Work­place Well­ness] agree that the work­site well­ness move­ment is not only a pri­vacy haz­ard, but a health haz­ard and busi­ness haz­ard to boot. While some of us might be will­ing to tol­er­ate a cer­tain amount of pri­vacy loss if we thought it would improve our health and save some money, Lewis and Khanna make a com­pelling case that poorly designed well­ness pro­grams don’t help at all. In fact, these pro­grams in the well­ness busi­ness 1) dis­may and alien­ate employ­ees, pre­cisely the oppo­site goal of a health “ben­e­fit,” 2) fail to reduce health costs, and 3) harm employee health.

And…

A well-designed well­ness pro­gram does not threaten to dock Superman’s pay if he doesn’t get a cho­les­terol test. A good one might instead add a salad bar to the Daily Planet cafe­te­ria. The lat­ter doesn’t sound like some­thing Perry White would do, but after all the Chief has never been the model of a good boss.

Apart from mak­ing the case of the need for evidence-based proac­tive well­ness planning,

Read the source edi­to­r­ial here.

The rec­om­mended solution?

And for those would appre­ci­ate a solu­tion to this, we offer some of the fol­low­ing “dos” in EAP and well­ness provider selec­tion  EAP­Buy­ers­Guide

  1. When eval­u­at­ing Employee Assis­tance Pro­grams, make cer­tain that you are com­par­ing “apples to apples.” Com­pare the indi­vid­ual ser­vice pack­ages and how they best meet your needs. Resist “cost shop­ping” and sim­ply choos­ing your EAP based on low­est price alone. A qual­ity EAP will offer a fair price, a full-service pack­age and respon­sive service.
  2. The range of EAP ser­vices — cri­sis response, con­sul­ta­tion, assess­ment, refer­ral, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and man­age­ment sup­port – these are the crit­i­cal com­po­nents and the keys to deter­min­ing the right fit and the right choice of EAP.
  3. A full-service Employee Assis­tance Pro­gram should pro­vide the Buyer with a set of com­pre­hen­sive, inte­grated EAP ser­vices that meet the needs of the orga­ni­za­tion, the employ­ees and their dependents:
  •  (e.g. con­fi­den­tial 24-hour any­time, any­where counseling,
  • Tele­coun­selling,
  • Online coun­sel­ing,
  • Assess­ment and referral,
  • R]ferral follow-up,
  • Dis­abil­ity management,
  • Crit­i­cal inci­dent response,
  • Edu­ca­tion and train­ing in men­tal health and related issues for man­age­ment and leaders,
  • Edu­ca­tion and train­ing for employ­ees in per­sonal health
  • Maintenance/improvement, inte­grated sub­stance abuse assess­ment and inter­ven­tion (access to in-patient ser­vices for advanced interventions),
  • Pro­fes­sion­ally cre­den­tialed coun­selors and allied coun­sel­ing and well­ness staff.
  • Guar­an­teed health-information con­fi­den­tial­ity (e.g. HIPAA compliance)
  • EAP cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (e.g. Coun­cil CON Accred­i­ta­tion, COA compliance)
  • Aware­ness materials
  • And var­i­ous other value-add ser­vice com­po­nents (e.g. work-life services).

The list is too expan­sive and com­pre­hen­sive to list here, so con­sider read­ing “EAP­Buy­ers­Guide”.

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Investing in Employees’ Health Leads to Increased Productivity

An annual gain of 10 hours in pro­duc­tive time for work­ers who improve health!
Work­place health pro­mo­tion pro­grams that improve employee health can lead to sig­nif­i­cant increases in pro­duc­tiv­ity — and asso­ci­ated cost sav­ings, reports a study in the Octo­ber Jour­nal of Occu­pa­tional and Envi­ron­men­tal Med­i­cine, offi­cial pub­li­ca­tion of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Occu­pa­tional and Envi­ron­men­tal Med­i­cine (ACOEM).“Participating in health pro­mo­tion pro­grams can help improve pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els among employ­ees and save money for their employ­ers,” accord­ing to the study by Rebecca J. Mitchell, MPH, and col­leagues of OptumHealth, Golden Val­ley, Minn.The researchers ana­lyzed the pro­duc­tiv­ity effects of a pro­gram in which well­ness coaches pro­vided tele­phone sup­port to help employ­ees address health prob­lems or risks. The study used mea­sures of lost work time includ­ing absen­teeism as well as “pre­sen­teeism” — time spent at work with reduced productivity.The pro­gram led to sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in lost work time — equiv­a­lent to about 10.3 hours in addi­tional pro­duc­tive time per year. Sav­ings aver­aged about $350 per par­tic­i­pat­ing employee, com­pared to sim­i­lar work­ers who did not par­tic­i­pate in the well­ness program.

The sav­ings were even greater for employ­ees who suc­cess­fully improved their health or low­ered health risk in at least one area. For a typ­i­cal employee, the gain in pro­duc­tive time amounted to about 0.5 percent.

Effec­tive health pro­mo­tion pro­grams lead to sav­ings in med­ical and absen­teeism costs. The new results “add to the grow­ing body of evi­dence that invest­ing in a healthy work­force can help to increase pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els of employ­ees,” Ms. Mitchell and coau­thors con­clude. How­ever, they add, “It takes time and com­mit­ment for pro­gram par­tic­i­pa­tion to yield success.”

Cita­tion — Mitchell RJ, Ozminkowski RJ, Serxner S. Improv­ing employee pro­duc­tiv­ity through improved health. J Occup Env­i­ron Med. 2013;55(10):1142–8.

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Helping a colleague with suspected mental health challenges

In antic­i­pa­tion of the release of Home­wood Human Solutions’s upcom­ing “Men­tal Health SOS for super­vi­sors, man­agers, and lead­ers” the fol­low­ing sum­mary of infor­ma­tion from the e-course may help you under­stand and take actions to deal with sus­pected men­tal health issues in your workplace.

Men­tal health, whether you call it well-being, emo­tional wel­fare or men­tal health, is key to liv­ing a ful­fill­ing life. But many things can be hap­pen­ing in an employee’s per­sonal and work life that leave them feel­ing down or upbeat, calm or edgy, want­ing to withdraw.

Men­tal health prob­lems affect the way a per­sonal thinks, feels and behaves. When some of these feel­ings, thoughts, and actions become dis­tress­ing, over­whelm­ing, and/or inter­fere with car­ry­ing on rou­tine activ­i­ties of daily per­sonal and work life, men­tal health prob­lems can result. And, in some cases, men­tal health prob­lems have existed for a long time, with­out any impact, but stresses and other events ‘trig­ger’ their rec­cur­rence and expression.

Men­tal health ill­ness is diag­nosed by a doc­tor and is not a per­sonal weakness.

What are the most com­mon men­tal  health prob­lems?
Anx­i­ety and depres­sion are the most com­mon prob­lems with around one in ten peo­ple affected by a mix­ture of the two at any one time. Although anx­i­ety and depres­sion are com­mon, they can be severe and long-lasting and have a big impact on an employe’s abil­ity to get on with life.

Only 1–2% of peo­ple expe­ri­ence a severe men­tal ill­ness, such as bipo­lar dis­or­der or schiz­o­phre­nia, and have peri­ods when they lose touch with real­ity. This may be expe­ri­enced as hear­ing voices, see­ing things oth­ers do not see, hav­ing unusual thoughts and beliefs, and/or feel­ing excep­tion­ally ener­gized and self-important.

Some symp­toms of a men­tal health chal­lenge are shared, but no two employ­ees behave  in exactly the same way when they are unwell. And because of shame and stigma, many of these same indi­vid­u­als live with their men­tal health prob­lem with­out seek­ing help, keep­ing their thoughts, feel­ings, and con­cerns to them­selves because of fear of col­leagues and oth­ers’ reactions.

Depres­sion

Every­one expe­ri­ences vari­a­tion in mood, but depres­sion is a long last­ing low mood that inter­feres with the abil­ity to func­tion, feel plea­sure, or take an inter­est in things. It is not a sign of per­sonal weak­ness or a phase that can be willed away but a con­di­tion that needs treat­ment to reduce symptoms.

Depres­sion affects any­one of any age, includ­ing young chil­dren. It is one of the most com­mon men­tal ill­nesses. More than 15 out of every 100 peo­ple will expe­ri­ence an episode of depres­sion dur­ing their life. (note, how­ever, these fig­ures are based on peo­ple who actu­ally seek help, and there will be more who remain undi­ag­nosed). Women are diag­nosed with depres­sion more than men but this could be due to the fact that women are more likely to seek help.

Symp­toms of depression

Not every­one who is depressed will expe­ri­ence every symp­tom, and no one symp­tom is indica­tive of depres­sion. Some of the most com­mon symp­toms are:

  • Per­sis­tent low mood, feel­ing sad
  • Reduced energy, decreased activity
  • Loss of inter­est and enjoy­ment in plea­sur­able activities
  • Loss of concentration
  • Tired­ness after lit­tle activity
  • Sleep­ing and eat­ing less (although this can some­times increase)
  • Low con­fi­dence
  • Loss of inter­est in work
  • Dif­fi­culty learn­ing new infor­ma­tion or concentrating
  • Feel­ings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Sui­ci­dal thoughts and acts

Anx­i­ety Disorders

Anx­i­ety, worry and fear are feel­ings that every­one expe­ri­ences now and again. They can be use­ful emo­tions, help­ing us to be aware of risks and respond to chal­leng­ing or dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions. They pre­pare the body to take action to pro­tect itself (the so-called ‘fight or flight’ response).

How­ever, those indi­vid­u­als chal­lenged by an anx­i­ety dis­or­der expe­ri­ence anx­i­ety, worry, fear or panic at a greater level than is nor­mal. The anx­i­ety can be caused by spe­cific sit­u­a­tions or it can be present con­stantly. Anx­i­ety dis­or­ders are gen­er­ally more com­mon in women than in men, but this can vary depend­ing on the type of condition.

Of note:

  • An anx­i­ety dis­or­der is diag­nosed when some­one feels anx­ious all, or a lot of the time for no log­i­cal rea­son to the extent that this impacts every­day life.
  • Obses­sive com­pul­sive dis­or­der, panic attacks (sud­den onset of fear, a sense of dying), post-traumatic stress dis­or­der, and spe­cific pho­bias are exam­ples of anx­i­ety disorders.
  • Anx­i­ety dis­or­ders can cause both phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal symptoms.
  • Anx­i­ety Dis­or­ders are some of the most com­mon men­tal health problems.

Some of the most com­mon symp­toms of anx­i­ety dis­or­ders include:

  • Appear­ing pale and tense
  • Being eas­ily star­tled by every­day sounds
  • Hav­ing dif­fi­culty concentrating
  • Avoid­ing cer­tain situations
  • Feel­ing con­stantly irri­ta­ble or worried
  • Dif­fi­cul­ties sleeping
  • Feel­ings of dread or impend­ing doom
  • Heart pal­pi­ta­tions
  • Sweat­ing
  • Heavy and rapid breathing
  • Dizzi­ness
  • Faint­ing
  • Indi­ges­tion
  • Stom­ach aches and sick­ness (espe­cially in young children)

Many peo­ple feel one or more of these at one time or another, but peo­ple with anx­i­ety dis­or­ders expe­ri­ence them more fre­quently and to the extent that they inter­fere with their lives. Which symp­toms and how severely they are expe­ri­enced will be dif­fer­ent for each dis­or­der and person.

How can you help?

When a col­league tells you they have a men­tal health prob­lem, becomes dis­tressed or starts behav­ing out of char­ac­ter, it can be very con­fus­ing. It may dis­tress you, too. Know­ing how to respond can be dif­fi­cult and it can seem eas­ier to ignore the sit­u­a­tion than to try to pro­vide sup­port. But pro­vid­ing sup­port at work can make a huge dif­fer­ence to someone’s life.

The most impor­tant thing you can do is treat this per­son with respect and dig­nity. Talk­ing with your col­league is the first step towards find­ing out how they would like you to sup­port them.

Key points:

  • It’s good to talk. It takes a tremen­dous amount of courage for a per­son to dis­cuss how they feel and they may feel ashamed to ‘admit’ their men­tal health chal­lenges. Be open and tell them that you care. Let your col­league know that you are there if they want to talk.
  • Allow your col­league to share as much or lit­tle as they want to, do not pry If you have ques­tions that would help you under­stand what they are going through, tell them that they don’t have to answer if this make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Make it clear that you don’t blame them for their prob­lems. Do not make judgements.
  • Do not diag­nose some­one or sec­ond guess their feelings.
  • Ask open-ended ques­tions (e.g. “tell me how you are feel­ing?” not “I see you aren’t feel­ing well, you seem low and sad.”). Don’t ask too many ques­tions at once.
  • Keep your lan­guage neutral.
  • Reas­sure them your con­ver­sa­tion is pri­vate and will not be shared with oth­ers if they do not want.
  • Ask them how they would you to help them.
  • Ask if there is any­thing that the per­son find helps them cope if you can help them with this.
  • Encour­age them to get pro­fes­sional help.
  • If you are aware that a col­league has self-harmed, make sure they get the sup­port and the first aid they need.

What you can do as a manager

Man­agers often find it dif­fi­cult to deal with some­one they think has a men­tal health prob­lem, par­tic­u­larly if the per­son or they them­selves are reluc­tant to talk about it. But it’s impor­tant to talk.

Key points:

  • After you have arranged for mod­i­fied work duties and have had ini­tial con­ver­sa­tions with your employee about their sit­u­a­tion, arrange reg­u­lar follow-up meet­ings to check how they are cop­ing and whether fur­ther changes to work­ing arrange­ments are needed.
  • A phased return to work can be help­ful, with some­one work­ing a few hours a day and build­ing back up to work­ing their con­tracted hours. If you’re unsure what is rea­son­able, ask for advice from your HR man­ager or occu­pa­tional health advisor.

 

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Homewood Human Solutions wins Strategic Partnership Award

Home­wood Human Solu­tions is proud to announce receiv­ing the Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Award for our work with the City of Cal­gary on its bet­ter sleep campaign.

The Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Award, pre­sented by Ben­e­fits Canada as part of the Ben­e­fits Canada Work­place Health and Ben­e­fits Awards 2013 pro­gram, rec­og­nizes employ­ers (City of Cal­gary) who have worked with a sup­port­ing orga­ni­za­tion (Home­wood Human Solu­tions) to develop “inno­v­a­tive and effec­tive ben­e­fits initiatives.”

Theawards bring together the best of the indus­try and rec­og­nize only those orga­ni­za­tions that are com­mit­ted to sus­tain­able health­care and that achieve best prac­tices in the com­mu­ni­ties [served].” — Ben­e­fits Canada

Con­grat­u­la­tions to all involved in this most suc­cess­ful health improve­ment cam­paign and inno­v­a­tive work­ing relationship!

More about the awards here.

 

It’s Healthy Workplace Month!

Octo­ber is Canada’s Healthy Work­place Month.

Take action now to raise aware­ness about men­tal health in the work­place. Together, we can all help to elim­i­nate the stigma asso­ci­ated with men­tal ill­ness. We can work to cre­ate a safer, more sup­port­ive envi­ron­ment to pre­vent psy­cho­log­i­cal harm and to enable the return to work of those who are recov­er­ing from an ill­ness. (Source: Canada’s healthy work­place month)

This month we are going to be keep­ing you informed of issues affect­ing men­tal health, ways to stay men­tally healthy, and var­i­ous other top­ics with link­age to men­tal health in the workplace.

Stay tuned! And con­sider sign­ing up for our reg­u­lar update emails. Use the sub­scribe func­tion on Healthy Workplaces.

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Posts we like: Keys to resilience, weight loss, friendship, mid-life anxiety, and being your true self at work.

Tips of the day:

Dream­ing? If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is WAKE UP!

Med­i­ta­tion and cof­fee…it doesn’t get bet­ter! Drink your cup of cof­fee with­out dis­trac­tion this morn­ing. Just sit…and notice the taste…the aroma…and the warmth as the drink touches your lips.

I Lost Weight: Tim Bauer Cut Out Fast Food And Sugar And Lost 225 Pounds

How I Lost It: I attempted to eat health­ier as best I under­stood at the time. I tried to avoid sug­ary and fried foods and white carbs. It wasn’t sci­en­tific, but it was a lit­tle change to prime me for big changes. Even­tu­ally I con­sulted a friend who had a nutri­tion degree who helped write up a meal plan for me. My friend started build­ing a dream in my mind. He told me: “If you stick with this, by Christ­mas next year, you could be down 100 pounds.”

http://huff.to/188Fscg

The Friend­ship Bank: How and Why Even the Most Giv­ing Friend Expects Payback

Friend­ship should be more than a series of tit-for-tat trans­ac­tions: If I do a favor for you, then you will do one for me. Social psy­chol­o­gists call this view of rela­tion­ships “exchange ori­en­ta­tion” and say it is more suited to busi­ness asso­ciates or other non-intimate rela­tion­ships than to loved ones. In our close rela­tion­ships, we’d like to think we give with­out expect­ing any­thing in return.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304713704579093141120660698.html

Can you really be your true self at work?

Office life doesn’t always encour­age authen­tic­ity. Some stud­ies sug­gest this may be a good thing — or at least not a bad one.

http://huff.to/18rKkdi

In the Face of Adver­sity: More Resilience at Work

Here are some of the other atti­tudes and skills of resilience that can help.

http://www.apaexcellence.org/resources/goodcompany/blog/2013/08/in-the-face-of-adversity-more.php

Fac­ing Down Midlife Anxiety

From the article:

Our anx­i­eties not only affect us in the moment. They appear to have long-term impli­ca­tions for our health as well. A study released a year ago by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal found that intense anx­i­ety can lead to faster bio­log­i­cal aging and pos­si­ble health prob­lems in middle-aged and older women. Specif­i­cally, the study found that pho­bic anx­i­ety in that pop­u­la­tion was linked with shorter telom­eres, the DNA sequences at the ends of our chro­mo­somes that pro­tect them from dete­ri­o­rat­ing. Telom­eres are con­sid­ered to be key mark­ers of bio­log­i­cal aging, and short­ened telom­eres have been asso­ci­ated with a higher risk of can­cer, heart dis­ease, demen­tia and pre­ma­ture mortality.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/midlife-anxiety_n_3968783.html

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Improving worker health: Conference report. Part 1

The fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion is sourced from the APA Mon­i­tor report on the 10th Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Occu­pa­tional Stress and Health 2013.

Peo­ple come to work with an under­stand­ing that they are going to fol­low direc­tions, take instruc­tions, be part of a team and learn new skills…It’s really a per­fect place for health interventions.

So com­ments L. Casey Chose­wood, MD, senior med­ical offi­cer at NIOSH at the 10th Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Occu­pa­tional Stress and Health that was held May 16–19 of this year. With more than 770 par­tic­i­pants from 39 coun­tries gath­ered in LA to dis­cuss the lat­est research on ways to improve worker health. This year’s theme: Pro­mot­ing and Pro­tect­ing Total Worker Health.

Orga­nized by the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion (APA), National Insti­tute for Occu­pa­tional Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Soci­ety for Occu­pa­tional Health Psy­chol­ogy, the con­fer­ence brings together par­tic­i­pants work­ing towards shap­ing this grow­ing field.

In pre­vi­ous years the con­fer­ence dealt mostly with aca­d­e­mic issues (e.g. risk fac­tors for work­place stress, study method­olo­gies). Now, the scope is much broader.

Says Steven Sauter, PHD, con­fer­ence co-chair and con­sul­tant to NIOSH:

We’re look­ing at a whole range of fac­tors that relate to reduc­ing the effects of stress in the workplace.

Some of these fac­tors include:

  • Health pro­tec­tion
  • Health pro­mo­tion
  • Health ser­vices design
  • Eco­nomic costs of job stress
  • Employee com­mu­ni­ca­tion and edu­ca­tion options

Work and health, because they’re such impor­tant com­po­nents of our lives, can­not be sep­a­rated,” said Chose­wood,. “What hap­pens at work doesn’t stay at work, and what hap­pens at home doesn’t stay at home…the work­place is an ideal venue for advanc­ing health…People come to work with an under­stand­ing that they are going to fol­low direc­tions, take instruc­tions, be part of a team and learn new skills.

Chose­wood describes tra­di­tional mea­sures hav­ing focused on non-integrated gen­eral health-promotion pro­grams and/or safety and health mea­sures. Today, that is chang­ing he reports, com­ment­ing that the focus now encour­ages employ­ees to make healthy choices “off the clock”, pro­vid­ing health edu­ca­tion, screen­ing for health issues, and inte­grat­ing health-promotion programs.

High­lights

1. Pro­mot­ing men­tal health in the workplace

Any improve­ment to men­tal health in the work­place must (1) com­bine reduc­ing work-related risk fac­tors for men­tal health prob­lems, (2) pro­mote pos­i­tive elve­ments of work, and (3) address men­tal health prob­lems among work­ing peo­ple regard­less of the under­ly­ing cause. So reports Anthony LaM­on­tagne, SCD of the Uni­ver­sity of Melbourne’s School of Pop­u­la­tion and Global Health in the open­ing ple­nary ses­sion. Anx­i­ety, depres­sion, and other men­tal health prob­lems were dis­cussed in their rela­tion­ship to work­ing con­di­tions. The main tenet being that any inter­ven­tion to improve men­tal health in the work­place needs to com­bine these three components.

Tomor­row, we’ll blog more details of this tenet and ple­nary ses­sion conclusions.

2. Job inse­cu­rity and acci­dent under-reporting

Work­ers feel their jobs are inse­cure, they are less likely to report acci­dents and injuries.”

So hypoth­e­sizes Tahira Probst, PhD, from Wash­ing­ton State Uni­ver­sity. Probst stud­ies both job inse­cu­rity and the safety cli­mate of orga­ni­za­tions. She pre­sented results of a recent study inves­ti­gat­ing the inter­sec­tion of those two inter­ests. Three mil­lion work-related injuries and ill­nesses are reported in the United States each year, but some stud­ies have found more than three-quarters of work­place injuries go unreported.

In tomorrow’s blog…more details of this session.

3. The gap between pol­icy and practice

When it comes to for­mal poli­cies and man­age­ment stan­dards, organ­i­sa­tions may say one thing but do another…Companies may espouse excel­lent safety prac­tices but cut cor­ners in real­ity if those pro­ce­dures under­mine the bot­tom line…unsurprisingly employ­ees are quick to pick up on this ‘decou­pling’ of pol­icy and practice.

This, accord­ing to Dov Zohar, PhD, at Tech­nion Insti­tute in Haifa, Israel.

Zohar dis­cussed an inter­ven­tion designed to reduce this dis­crep­ancy and improve the safety cli­mate which we’ll blog more about tomorrow.

4. Effec­tive­ness of job-search interventions

As employ­ment has risen in recent years, job-search train­ing pro­grams have flour­ished. Stud­ies have found large vari­a­tions in these pro­grams’ effec­tive­ness and few researchers are report­edly tak­ing a big-picture view of the literature.

Songqui Liu, PhD of Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­sity exam­ined 47 stud­ies of var­i­ous job-search inter­ven­tions to draw broad con­clu­sions about the ingre­di­ents of a suc­cess­ful pro­gram over­all find­ing the inter­ven­tions help­ful.  He com­mented “if you have a blend of [these] tech­niques in your train­ing pro­gram, you’re likely to see the max­i­mum benefits.”

How­ever, job seek­ers are diverse, includ­ing older work­ers who ay ben­e­fit from more pro­grams that teach skills such as using the tech­nol­ogy with skill.

More details in tomorrow’s blog.

Until then…

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

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Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

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NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.