Do Employees with Mental Illness Benefit from a Supportive Workplace Environment?
By Rania Nasrallah-Massaad
The impact of workplace climate on employee health
Employee mental health is a central determinant of overall health. Regardless of age, gender, or social standing, it affects employee productivity, with immeasurable costs to organizations. Until recently, the contribution of employee mental illness to negative workplace outcomes like poor performance, illness, absenteeism, and high staff turnover has been unappreciated.
Most employees are not aware of the mental health support and resources available to them in the workplace, and most employers undervalue the need to provide mental health services to their employees. A greater awareness of the benefits employee mental health and a more supportive workplace environment can offer will improve the overall work experience for everyone. A tool to measure an employee’s perception of the mental health climate (workplace awareness and value of mental health and support available for employees) can help the employer determine whether there is a need for more mental health awareness in the workplace and improve resources to support employees.
What is this research about?
Professors Jennifer Dimoff and Laurent Lapierre received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant to develop a tool to measure how employees perceive their workplace mental health climate and study the extent to which a supportive mental health climate influences employee work and mental health outcomes.
Project title: Mental illness in the workplace: Understanding the impact of mental health climate on employees
Who will benefit from this research?
This work will offer academic and practical perspectives, providing researchers with the tools needed to study workplace mental health and helping employers evaluate the mental health climate, thus improving work and health outcomes for their employees. Everyone will benefit from a workplace that values mental health and offers support to those with mental illness, resulting in a positive personal and professional experience.