Results of an extensive study of workers' mental health
TORONTO, June 19, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Job insecurity, abusive
supervision, excessive demands, the encroachment of work on family life
and domestic relationship problems top the list of factors that
contribute to the development of mental health issues among workers.
These findings, disclosed today, are the results of the largest research
study ever conducted on the subject in Canada. The study was undertaken
by researchers at the Université de Montréal, Concordia University and
Université Laval with the support of Standard Life.
Researchers focused on a series of factors that may lead to the
development of psychological distress, depression and burnout at work.
More than 2,100 employees at 63 companies were interviewed about their
personal and professional lives. The results of this questionnaire were supported by cortisol
measurements. This research methodology is a first in the field of
study of mental health factors in the workplace. Cortisol is a hormone
found in saliva and recognized as an indicator of an individual's
The researchers responsible for the study, professors Alain Marchand and
Pierre Durand of the Université de Montréal's School of Industrial
Relations, are convinced the impacts of an individual's personal and
work-related problems on his or her mental health cannot be considered
separately. Professor Durand explains: "The strength of this research
is that it takes a large number of factors into account. These include
work organization, family and employment relationships and certain
personality traits, such as self-esteem, as well as other potential
risk factors, like chronic illness or alcohol misuse."
The study also provided an opportunity to review approximately 65
corporate practices designed to reduce stress and improve employee
health. These practices range from operating a company fitness centre
to implementing shorter working hours. "The good news is that we know
it is possible to introduce effective measures to reduce mental health
risks," says Eric Pfeiffer, Senior Consultant, Health and Wellness, at
Standard Life. "The results of this study will provide our customers
with additional motivation to adopt an integrated prevention approach
tailored to their specific business needs."
The study was funded in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research and the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, and conducted
over a period of more than 4 years with 2,162 workers from all sectors.
Saliva samples to determine cortisol levels were taken from 401 workers
and compared to questionnaire results. The saliva samples were taken at
five different times of the day on three separate occasions (on two
workdays and on one day off).
The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that approximately 1 out
of 5 employees (21.4% of Canada's working population) suffers from a
mental illness that potentially affects his or her productivity at
work. Lost productivity related to absenteeism, presenteeism (when a
worker is physically present but unproductive) and turnover costs
Canadian companies $6.3 billion each year.
Factsheets for further details:
About Standard Life
The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada ("Standard Life") provides
long-term savings, investments and insurance solutions to more than 1.4
million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan
Standard Life promotes a comprehensive approach to health and wellness
in the workplace. As part of its group insurance offering, it provides
support to employers who wish to develop health and wellness
strategies, design and implement customized programs, and analyze
results. Standard Life strives to help its corporate clients improve
financial results by integrating health and wellness with drug and
absence management programs.
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/06/19/20130619_C9507_DOC_EN_28216.pdf
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/06/19/20130619_C9507_DOC_EN_28215.pdf
SOURCE: STANDARD LIFE
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