MONTREAL, Sept. 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Employers who want to limit mental health problems among their employees must target both workplace-related and individual factors more precisely. This is one of the conclusions of a comprehensive study undertaken by researchers at the Université de Montréal, in collaboration with researchers at Concordia University and the Université Laval, with the support of Standard Life. These findings were presented at a Québec Employers Council (Conseil du patronat du Québec) conference on mental health in the workplace.
For two years, researchers surveyed more than 2,100 workers from 63 companies. They examined 30 different factors, such as work schedules, workloads, management policies, supervision styles, married and family life, alcohol consumption and self-esteem, which have been identified as triggers or inhibitors in the development of psychological distress, depression or burnout.
"Psychological distress, depression and burnout are in part related to workplace conditions. But it is now clear that individual factors also play a role - to varying degrees - when one or another of these mental health problems appears," says Pierre Durand of the Université de Montréal's School of Industrial Relations and one of the researchers who led the SALVEO Study.
"We discovered that certain factors may have a direct impact on the incidence of depression, for example, but these same factors may have no impact on the incidence of burnout," says Alain Marchand, a Université de Montréal researcher and co-lead of the study. "This is why precise diagnoses are so important. They enable companies to deal more effectively with problems that are specific to their organizations in order to optimize the health and wellness programs they put in place to improve their employees' mental health."
"These results are quite valuable in terms of targeting health and wellness programs in the workplace," says Virginie Gosselin, Senior Consultant, Health and Wellness, at Standard Life Canada. "By taking a more in-depth look at the mental health problems which are most prevalent in any given workplace, we can introduce programs that specifically target the factors or triggers directly related to psychological distress, for example, and improve the impact of these programs on health."
The initial findings of the SALVEO Study and their application to workplace health and wellness programs are the subject of a recent Standard Life publication:
About Standard Life
The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan members.
Standard Life promotes a comprehensive approach to health and wellness in the workplace. As part of its group insurance solutions, it provides support to employers who wish to develop health and wellness strategies, design and implement customized programs and analyze their results. Standard Life strives to help its corporate clients improve their financial results by integrating health and wellness with drug and absence management programs.
SOURCE: STANDARD LIFE
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