Through research of lived experiences, a growing number of studies 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. Some selected recent findings:
- Kilgour, Elizabeth et al. 2014. “Interactions between Injured Workers and Insurers in Workers’ Compensation Systems: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Research Literature.” (presentation of findings at Bancroft Institute plenary, Oct. 31, 2014). Published in Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 25(1) 2015: 160-181.
International review of studies of injured workers’ experiences found most were negative, with system disorganization and adversarial relations resulting in significant mental health, social and vocational consequences. Mental health impacts reported included fear and insecurity; anger, frustration and stress; anxiety, depression and shame; low self-esteem; suicide ideation
- 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 looks at workers with mental health problems who are struggling at work or trying to return to work from a disability leave, and disincentives for seeking support.
- 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.
Australian study looks at how injured workers’ experiences with the claims process, medical assessment and return to work, affect mental health and recovery – and a way forward
- Blank, Alison A. et al. “‘Without Occupation You Don’t Exist’: Occupational Engagement and Mental Illness.” 2014. Journal of Occupational Science
Authors look at the meaning of work and social networking for persons living with severe and enduring mental health problems
- 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 (abstract includes link to download full-text in PDF)
Survey of Ontario injured workers finds post-injury onset mental health problems are elevated compared to pre-injury onset in seven of nine indicators, including diagnosed depression, medication abuse, inability to concentrate, and sleep problems. This major study discusses implications for return to work, access to health services, income recovery, rehabilitation within and outside the workers’ compensation system
- 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
Study of the legal and policy framework governing access to benefits for workers disabled because of mental health problems attributed to stress in the work environment. Includes gender aspects.