Pay attention to the science-backed workplace mental health frameworks that are taking shape outside the US, like those in Canada, Europe, and Australia.
In the US, the messaging of vendors and consultants tends to drown out science. Last year, for example, data from a meta-analysis — which included more than 120,000 research subjects — showed that job strain (the combination of high demands and low control at work) may lead to clinically diagnosed depression. This is consistent with a lot of other research that points us toward employer strategies for the primary prevention of mental health problems. But psychosocial risk and primary prevention are missing-in-action when we look at mental health resources made available by US employee wellness professional organizations and their vendors/consultant partners, .
Mental health crises — just like physical health crises — are mission critical, but this doesn’t mean we can’t prevent them before they happen and, what’s more, aspire to create workplace environments in which employee well-being flourishes.
Canada’s “Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace” is a compelling example of a social strategy to promote mental health in all its stages — emphasizing primary prevention. Find out more about Canada’s Standard and other science-backed workplace mental health strategies on the Jozito mental health resources hub.
Does your Employee Assistance Program proactively address workplace mental health? Are they reaching out and screening employees — like those out on disability, or who have recently given birth, or are dealing with grief, or who have a chronic disease — who are at risk for mental health problems?
In 2013, Carol Harnett and Fran Melmed interviewed Bob Merberg for their CoHealth CheckUp podcast (which is no longer in production). They asked him to discuss a “great idea that didn’t work out.” In this 2-minute answer, he talks about a positive psychology intervention designed to help employees cultivate happiness.
Mental Health First Aid at Work – operated in the US by the National Council for Behavioral Health – is a training program that teaches employees how to identify and support a co-worker (or anyone) who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use concern or crisis. Continue reading »
This free e-course from Canada explains psychosocial risk factors, using interactive workplace scenarios and videos that help learners understand the application of their new knowledge to mental health at work. Continue reading »
Especially useful for tips on how managers can identify and respond to signs that an employee is struggling and how to reduce stigma around mental health problems, The People Managers’ Guide to Mental Health is a production of CIPD (UK’s organization of human resources professionals) and the UK charity, Mind. Continue reading »
ICU (as in, “Identify, Connect, Understand,” and “I see you”) is an awareness campaign designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and foster a workplace culture that supports emotional health.”
A unique website from the Health in Construction Leadership Group, seeking to raise awareness by addressing the stigma of poor mental health and improving positive mental well-being in the construction industry. Continue reading »
Canada’s voluntary Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace exemplifies a nationwide strategy to promote the psychosocial wellbeing of workers, with emphasis on primary prevention. Continue reading »