Recognize mental health issues at work

Mental health issues affect one in five Canadians.

Even those who don’t personally experience mental health issues are impacted. The remaining four in five Canadians will have a friend, family member or colleague affected.

Common mental health problems include symptoms such as depression, extreme mood swings, disturbances in thought or perception, obsessions or fears, or other overwhelming feelings of anxiety. These symptoms affect how people think, feel and behave, and only one-third of those who need mental health services in Canada actually receive them.

Recent research studies have shown that psychological health and safety should be considered in the workplace.

Employers have a legal duty to maintain not only a safe physical work place, but also a psychologically safe work environment. We can all do our part by being knowledgeable. How can you tell if someone is experiencing mental issues? Being aware of signs is important. People suffering could have:

Decreased productivity;

Lack of co-operation;

Increased accidents or safety problems;

Decreased interest or involvement in one’s work;

Frequent absences; and

Any unusual, worrisome behaviour.

Anyone can act like this from time to time if they are having a bad day, but if it continues in a pattern for a longer period of time, they may be suffering from a mental health disorder. Managers can also play an important role in encouraging people to seek help.

For more information about mental health in the workplace and how we can assist, please visit


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