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Mental health study seeks participants

By Randy Thoms Sep 18, 2023 | 8:09 PM

Dr. Vicki Kristman . Supplied photo

Researchers at Lakehead University are taking a closer look at mental health in the workplace.

The Enhancing the Prevention of Injury and Disability at Work Research Institute intends to follow a group of workers over a period of time.

Senior Scientist Dr. Vicki Kristman says there is a national standard called the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace.

“It actually identifies 13 factors that employers should consider when they’re trying to create a healthy and safe work environment for the workers. It’s quite an onerous package. What we’re doing is trying to determine, of those 13 factors, where are you going as an employer? Where will you get your biggest bang for the buck for workers in terms of preventing mental health disorders? That’s where we’re really trying to understand is which factors are the most important,” says Kristman.

Kristman says once they have identified the key factors they will try to identify or develop interventions that can be tested.

Kristman is now reaching out to employers and employees interested in taking part in the study.

“This study is basically specific to northwestern Ontario. It’s been developed by researchers here in northwestern Ontario for the people in northwestern Ontario. What we’re trying to do is capture information on workers from all ten industrial sectors. We really want a cross-section of all workers in northwestern Ontario. We worked with WSIB to have a random sample of companies selected from their database so that we can reach out to those companies and specifically ask them to participate.”

There is a website employers and employees can register called workinghealth.ca.