A quarter of Canadians suffer work-related mental health problems: study

A new wide-ranging study conducted by the Universite de Montreal, Concordia University and Universite Laval with the support of Standard Life details the most common ...

A new wide-ranging study conducted by the Universite de Montreal, Concordia University and Universite Laval with the support of Standard Life details the most common factors that trigger mental illness for Canadian workers, a problem that costs the economy in excess of $50 billion a year.

The study surveyed 2,100 employees at 63 companies and found that that the following factors topped the list for contributing to mental health issues:

  • job insecurity;
  • abusive supervision;
  • excessive demands;
  • the encroachment of work on family life; and
  • domestic relationship problems.

In addition to surveying the workers, researchers measured the participants’ level of cortisol, a hormone that indicates stress.

The study found that 24% of the workers surveyed reported a recent episode of psychological distress and 11% said they were “professionally inefficient” at least once a week.

The research also found that different factors tended to contribute to psychological problems. For instance, job insecurity, strained marital or parental relationships and work-life balance contributed to depression. Psychological demands from work, conflicts in the workplace and job insecurity were key factors leading to burnout.

The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that burnout alone costs employers $12 billion in health claims, lost productivity and absenteeism.

jstdenis@biv.com

@jenstden

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