Supporting a Return to Work after an Absence for a Mental Health Problem

Mental health problems in the workplace are currently one of the main causes of
work absence, a phenomenon that has seen a marked increase in the last two

Research work in the occupational rehabilitation and mental health field has
highlighted the importance of a collaborative process involving the
stakeholders in the return-to-work process.

However, while a handful of studies have focused on the work reintegration of
workers who held jobs but had been absent from them for mental health reasons,
very few of these studies have specifically explored the design and
implementation of return-to-work programs.

A new report concerns the design, implementation, and evaluation of an
integrated practices program for supporting a return to work following an
absence for a mental health problem. The research project was carried out in
response to a joint employee/employer request made by a health and social
services establishment in Québec, Canada, for intervention regarding the
problem of mental health-related work absences among its personnel and their
return to work.

This study further revealed that the success of such a program can be ensured
only if the following essential conditions are in place: a climate of trust
characterized by respect, effective communication, and collaboration among the
various internal and external stakeholders involved in the return to work.
Lastly, it should be noted that interventions carried out with absent workers
may also have an impact on other workers exposed to the same risk factors.

More info - Source: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST)