In addition to peer support offered by the injured worker community, there is growing public awareness of the psychological, social and economic burden of workers’ mental health conditions. In October 2014 the Ontario government’s Roundtable on Traumatic Mental Stress reported back on best practices in addressing workers’ mental stress, and reducing the stigma that surrounds it. The Ministry of Labour’s 2017/2018 Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program is supporting a number of mental health initiatives.
Online tools to support workers
Selected resources for employees (and employers):
- Mental Injury Toolkit: A Worker’s Guide to Addressing Workplace Causes of Mental Distress / Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and partners
- Health Minds @Work / Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health / Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace
Research based on lived experiences
Selected findings from a growing number of studies that document the effects injury can also have on workers’ mental health – both the event itself and the added stress of having to fight for social legitimacy and fair compensation:
- Kilgour, Elizabeth et al. 2015. “Interactions between Injured Workers and Insurers in Workers’ Compensation Systems: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Research Literature.” Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 25(1): 160-181.
- Blank, Alison A. et al 2015. . “‘Without Occupation You Don’t Exist’: Occupational Engagement and Mental Illness.”Journal of Occupational Science 22(2): 197-209
- Dewa, C.S. 2014. “Worker Attitudes Towards Mental Health Problems and Disclosure.” International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 5(4): 175-186 (Ontario study)
- Pollock, Sarah et al. 2014. Filling the Dark Spot: Fifteen Injured Workers Shine a Light on the Workers’ Compensation System to Improve it for Others. Melbourne, Creative Ministries Network.
- O’Hagan, Fergal T. et al. 2012. “Mental Health Status of Ontario Injured Workers with Permanent Impairments.” Canadian Journal of Public Health:103(4): 303-308
- Lippel, Katherine et al. 2011. “Access to Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Other Legal Protections for Work-related Mental Health Problems: A Canadian Overview.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 101 (Suppl. 1): S16-S22 (includes gender aspects)