Recovery Messages & News

Stress in the Workplace

By Ms. Sue Newton, MN, RN and Ms. Paige Abbott, R.Psych.

Some interesting statistics that put the role of stress, mental health, and addiction in the workplace in perspective…

  • According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (2012), nearly 1 out of 2 Americans suffer from a chronic disease
  • The most common behaviors that lead to chronic disease are tobacco use, lack of physical activity, poor eating habits and excessive alcohol consumption
  • In 2012, 61% of worldwide deaths were caused by chronic disease *The projected global economic toll of non-communicable diseases (mainly cancer, mental health disorders, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases) over the next 2 decades is $47 trillion
  • The annual cost to Canadian companies due to stress-related disorders is $12 billion
  • Absenteeism due to stress/mental health/addiction has increased by over 300% since 1995
  • An April 2012 report by the Mental Health Commission of Canada said that mental health problems account for about 30% of short and long term disability claims.
What does this all mean?
  • It is debatable whether on the job stress has increased over time. Rather, what has changed is people’s openness and willingness to talk about their challenges and take time off, if needed
  • That acute stress (i.e., a reaction to a challenging event or situation) can become chronic if it is not processed
  • There is still stigma related to Addiction, which is an undercurrent of a lot of reports of stress and some mental health challenges
  • People can benefit from the tools of holistic recovery-taking care of their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs