Implementing preventive measures adapted to each company’s unique culture would help reduce mental health issues in the workplace, according to a study.

Researchers at the Université de Montréal, in collaboration with researchers at Concordia University and the Université Laval, interviewed more than 2,100 workers from 63 organizations to analyze both the personal and professional factors that could lead to the development of psychological distress, depression and burnout.

They examined different factors—including work schedules and workload, management policies, supervision styles, married and family life, alcohol consumption and self-esteem—which were identified as triggers or inhibitors in the development of psychological distress, depression or burnout.

After preparing a diagnosis for each company, the researchers developed intervention programs tailored to each company’s working environment and culture.

“Our study clearly shows that an action plan needs to be developed based on each company’s specific issues,” say Université de Montréal professors Pierre Durand and Alain Marchand. “The same formula cannot be applied to each situation; a more in-depth approach is required. Progress must be evaluated regularly, and factors that may arise along the way need to be taken into consideration in order to modify the approach if necessary.”

The study was supported by Standard Life and funded, in part, by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé. It was conducted over a period of more than four years.

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