Good mental health at work: everybody wins!
MONTREAL, May 10, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - During Mental Health Week held from May 7 to 13, the Mental Illness Foundation invites Québec organizations to assess both the risk and protective factors that have a significant impact on their employees' mental health.
Negative human and financial impacts
- The World Health Organization says that in 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide.
- According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, about 40% of disability claims are related to mental health problems. They are now the first cause of long-term absence from work.
- Direct and indirect costs related to mental illness for Canadian businesses exceed $ 33 billion per year.
"A high level of personal involvement, a greater than average number of work hours, a tense work environment or a lack of support from colleagues or superiors are amongst the risk factors that can lead to mental health issues in the workplace," says Mrs. Lucie Brais, Director of the Adult Programs at the Mental Illness Foundation. "Add to this poor time management, personal problems, a history of physical or mental health issues, and these factors can, over the medium or long-term, lead to depression."
Training managers and educating employees
Since 2003, the Mental Illness Foundation has been offering a training program aimed at reducing the human and financial impacts linked to mental health issues in the workplace. The program is called Nothing's Working and was developed to meet a critical need in our society's workplaces. The program's training sessions, conferences and workshops are led by experienced trainers. They teach employees and managers to prevent, identify and manage mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders. To date, over 20,000 employees and managers across Québec have benefited from the Nothing's Working program.
Prevention: A shared responsibility
On their end, employers can implement several measures aimed at providing a healthy work environment. "Showing support, acknowledging the employees' work and controlling their workload are all elements that promote the well-being of workers," affirms Mrs. Brais. Healthy and motivated employees perform better which contributes to improving the organization's financial results.
For their part, employees must ask themselves what causes their exhaustion, and what triggers their fatigue. They should also be aware of their personal responsibility in maintaining their physical and mental health. They must share their problems and get the help they need from a health professional.
"Maintaining a good balance between work, rest and play, eating well, having healthy personal relationships, decreasing caffeine and alcohol consumption and, most of all, exercising on a daily basis are lifestyle habits that can help maintain good mental health," points out Mrs. Brais. Several companies also offer employee assistance programs (EAP) that help workers manage the risk factors and situations that cause stress.
About the Mental Illness Foundation
Founded in 1980 by Dr. Yves Lamontagne, the Mental Illness Foundation's mission is to prevent mental illness in order to reduce the suffering of afflicted people and their loved ones by mobilizing individuals and society as a whole. For more information on the Foundation, mental illness and available resources, please visit the Foundation's website at www.mentalillnessfoundation.org.
The Mental Illness Foundation is pleased to offer the media interview opportunities with their employees and scientific spokespersons:
- Dr. Martin Tremblay, Co-director of the Expertise NeuroSciences clinic and an intake psychiatrist at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). He is currently Chairman of the Mental Illness Foundation's Board of Directors.
- Dr. Stéphane Kunicki, Psychiatrist and Co-founder of the Montreal ADHD Clinic. He is well known for his expertise in adult ADHD, depression, anxiety, OCD, phobias, post-traumatic stress and personality disorder.
- Dr. Édith Labonté, Psychiatristat at Hôpital Enfant-Jésus of the Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec. She is also a professor and internship supervisor in the department of psychiatry at Université de Laval, where she teaches courses on suicide, violence, psychiatric emergencies and crisis intervention.
- Dr. Mylène Bédard, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke. She is very active within the Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec (AMPQ) where she sits on various committees (forensic psychiatry, communications, staffing). Her field of expertise is depression.
- Dr. Karine Igartua, Director of Emergency Psychiatric Services at the McGill University Health Centre, in addition to being a psychiatrist at the Montreal General Hospital and Co-director of the McGill University Sexual Identity Centre (MUSIC).
- Dr. Frédéric Benoit, child psychiatrist at Hôpital Charles LeMoyne and Clinical Professor at Université de Sherbrooke. His specialties include mental disorders during adolescence, psychiatric emergencies, severe mental illness, personality disorders, severe behaviour disorders and the assessment of dangerousness and parenting skills.
Communication Advisor, Mental Illness Foundation
514 529-5354, ext. 229
Cell: 514 652-3467