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The global fight for mental health in the workplace

May 2, 2012
by Nick Zubko, Associate Editor
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In theory, the value of mental health in the workplace should be a universal concept. Unfortunately, while some cultures may approach it a little better than others, appreciating that value is still a challenge all over the world.

When the American Psychological Association released its 2012 “Stress in the Workplace” survey reported a few unfavorable statistics, it wasn’t entirely surprising—Americans are known for working to much and paying the price. But apparently, the United States is far from alone in this.

This week, mental health organizations in Canada and Europe announced new efforts to address the prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems within their workforces.

First, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released a document called “Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers,” which was created to educate employers on enhancing the “positive role that the workplace has in recovery and prevention," according to the organization’s president and CEO Louise Bradley.

Featuring a series of steps and 24 actions accessible to all Canadian employers regardless of size, sector or location, the guide is intended for employers and human resources personnel considering programs and policies to improve psychological health in their organization. 

It also provides employers with “logical implementation steps and recommendations that are practical, accessible and actionable,” noted Dan Bilsker, PhD, who co-authored the guide with by Merv Gilbert, PhD. Both are from the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction at Simon Fraser University.
 
Across the Atlantic, the European Depression Association (EDA) launched an EU-wide campaign to make the fight against depression in the workplace a “European priority,” urging the public to show their support for the cause by visiting their website.

The EDA launched the campaign with an "open letter" to EU policy makers, in which EDA President Dr. Vincenzo Costigliola said that depression should be "prioritized in all policies and legislation affecting workers and workplace safety."

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Nick Zubko

Associate Editor

Nick Zubko

@BH_Zubko

www.behavioral.net

Nick Zubko is associate editor of Behavioral Healthcare.