"It turns out that mental health in the workplace does not exist in a vacuum; it is deeply affected by the rest of a person's day-to-day life and vice versa," said Alain Marchand, a professor from the school of industrial relations at the University of Montreal."To maintain a truly healthy workforce, we need to look outside the office or home in simple terms to combat mental health issues in the workplace," he added.

To reach this conclusion, the team from the University of Montreal and Concordia University surveyed 1,954 employees from 63 different organisations to measure factors like parental status, household income, social network, gender, age, physical health and levels of self-esteem. They studied these elements alongside stressors typically seen in the workplace such as emotional exhaustion, poor use of skills, high psychological demands, job insecurity and lack of authority.

"The study shows that fewer mental health problems are experienced by those living with a partner, in households with young children, higher household incomes, less work-family conflicts and greater access to the support of a social network outside the workplace," Marchand explained. Of course, factors within the workplace like supportive employees, job recognition and security are still important.

"But this is a call to action. Researchers need to expand their perspective so that they get a full picture of the complexity of factors that determine individuals' mental health at workplace," added senior author Steve Harvey, a professor of management and dean of Concordia University's John Molson School of Business.

The study appeared in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.


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