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Worker Role Changes Impact Mental Health

Workplace mental health and absence

Morneau Shepell finds-organizational change linked to physical and mental health sick leave | Maximize Human Capabilities | Functional Capacity Evaluation

Morneau Shepell has just released the results of a survey conducted in October 2016 to gain understanding and compare the perspective of working Canadians regarding workplace mental health and absence (1,018 respondents).  Two thirds (66%) of the employees surveyed experienced worker role changes due to employer organizational changes.  These organizational changes include team restructuring (39 %), downsizing/layoffs (35 %), job re-design (35 %), re-design of the physical office space (29. 5 %) and mergers (15 %).

Impacting job performance

Of those employees who have experienced a change, 40 % said it negatively affected their health and well-being and 30 % indicated that it impacted their job performance.  Of the organizational changes, job re-design had the strongest correlation to sick leave for both physical and mental health.

Additional assessments

Morneau Shepell’s survey also assessed workplace mental health issues and found that the employee respondents were currently or in the past experiencing depression (31%) and anxiety (28%) as the most prevalent conditions.

Millennials at greater risk

Additionally, sick leave for mental health concerns is more than two times as likely for employees age 30 and under, compared to the average likelihood of employees older than age 30.

What does the research tell us?

Through its research, Morneau Shepell found that 75 per cent of all respondents indicated work culture as the most important issue to address regarding mental health in the workplace. This issue ranked above the importance of employees' willingness to get help (71 %), employees' coping skills and resilience (70 %), reducing stigma among employees (65 %), reducing stigma among managers (65 %) and concerns about employees returning from disability leave (62 %).

MaxOT results analysis

As I read and digest the survey results I cannot help but draw attention to the fact that when an employee sustains an injury of illness, regardless of the type (e.g. back injury, diabetes), this will impact their worker role.  Worker role changes impact mental health.  Moving forward, for clinicians and case managers working with employees returning to work and staying at work, the more we pay attention to the worker role impacts and subsequent mental health impacts, the more likely we can facilitate  successful sustainable outcomes.

For full survey results:

Saturday, January 28, 2017
Posted by Lorraine Mischuk at 10:02 AM 0 | Comments

The Art of Listening

The Art of Listening | Maximize Human Capabilities | Occupational Therapy

In our daily lives we continually communicate – to our family, friends, co-workers, and within the communities where we live.  Yet in our daily communications, do we listen?  That is, are we really paying attention to what someone has to say?  This is especially important when an individual who is experiencing a mental health challenge is struggling to communicate.

Listening is a skill.  How we listen can have a huge impact in our communication process.

Be Interested

Rule number one – look genuinely interested in what the individual has to say.  If we are not looking at them because we are on our smart phones or  checking out what else is going on in the environment around us, the individual attempting to tell you their story quickly receives the impression that what they are trying to say is not important.  So put down the smart phone for a few minutes and provide the individual with eye contact. 

Body Language

Rule number two – use body language that is engaging.  Our facial expressions and body postures provide strong messages of non-verbal communication.  If we our body is facing or turned away from the individual they may feel that you are trying to get away from the conversation as quickly as you can.  Face the individual, and pay attention to your own facial expressions to ensure that they are accepting and engaging.  If you are not sure what this looks like, practice in a mirror!

Don't judge

Rule number three – be open to what the individual is telling you. So often we quickly formulate an opinion or judgment of the individual based on only a small portion of the story/information.  These judgments not only quickly bias our further receiving of the information, but also influence our body language and non-verbal communication.  So be patient and just listen to what the individual has to say with an open mind.

Don't worry, in the few minutes that it takes to listen to the individual, the information on our smart phone will still be there and I am certain that you will still catch what is going on in your immediate surroundings!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Posted by Lorraine Mischuk at 7:52 PM 0 | Comments

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