Work has a positive effect on mental health. Studies show that people with jobs are in better mental health than those who do not work. Indeed, in addition to providing income, employment promotes social interaction and develops skills and self-esteem.
However, the work world has transformed profoundly over the past decades. Working conditions have changed. Work requirements and responsibilities have increased. For example, some employers try to save money by demanding more work from a smaller number of employees. Some people have a harder time than others managing stress caused by these new working conditions.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, almost a quarter of the Canadian population experiences work-related mental-health issues. These problems may lead to one or more of the following consequences in the workplace:
In Canada, over 30% of disability claims submitted to insurance companies are related to mental illness.
Anxiety disorders and depression are among the most common mental illnesses in the workplace. “Burnout” is also very common. Even though burnout is not officially identified as a mental illness, it is understood to be the result of chronic work-related stress.
Some risk factors related to working conditions can cause certain mental illnesses. These factors include:
Certain personal, social and economic elements can also be risk factors. As such, personal or family difficulties and financial problems, combined with work requirements, can sometimes have an effect on the mental health of some people. Such individuals can experience temporary psychological distress, have difficulty adapting or even exhibit symptoms of a mental illness.
To learn more about the risk factors of mental illness, read Mental Health (Mental Illness).
Negative views and discrimination due to prejudice can aggravate the suffering of people with mental illness. Some people can experience profound distress due to such behaviours and attitudes.
To learn more, read Fighting the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness.
You can maintain good mental health at work and prevent symptoms of mental illness.
Concrete action will help you maintain good mental health at work.
Also, keep in mind that the sooner one seeks help when initial symptoms of mental illness appear, the greater the chances of a quick recovery. To learn about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and to know when to seek help, read Mental Health (Mental Illness).
If you are thinking about suicide and fear for your safety or that of those around you, read the information page on suicide prevention. It includes information on all available help and resources.
Last update: September 25, 2015 11:30 AM
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 8-1-1 or see a health professional.