Worker health and wellness Worker Health and Wellness

Guide intended to help workers deal – or help others deal – with depression

mental health
Photo: laflor/iStockphoto

Toronto — The Institute for Work and Health has published a guide intended to assist workers who experience depression or support those coping with it.

IWH states that the guide is applicable “to the entire workplace regardless of sector or role” – including individuals with depression, managers, co-workers, human resources staff, union representatives and worker representatives.

Incorporating research evidence, clinician expertise and stakeholder experiences, the guide is divided into three sections: workplace culture, workplace processes, and workplace and non-workplace resources.

Work-related stress can trigger or heighten depression, the guide states. Exposure to death, violence or trauma in the workplace also can be a factor. Tips include:

  • Evaluate your organization’s existing mental health awareness programs and their effectiveness.
  • Check whether workers who may not be acting like themselves are in need of support.
  • Communicate genuinely with individuals with depression, practicing active and reflective listening, empathy and support. Don’t feel compelled to use “depression” or “mental health” in conversation; simply showing you care is a positive start.
  • Consider implementing empathy training workshops or consult your Employee Assistance Program for guidance.
  • Remain open to adapting return-to-work plans for individuals with depression as each case dictates.

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