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Module 204: Mental Health At Work




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Improving stay-at-work and return-to-work (RTW) outcomes for people with depression and anxiety holds high relevance to modern organizations and the broader society, with impacts ranging from the individual to global levels. In Canada, mental ill-health has become the foremost cause of work disability, with annual costs to organizations from related losses at over $20 billion. Affecting work function while still at work, it has also been pointed out that “mental health disorders, most notably depression and anxiety, [are] now recognized as the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work disability in most developed countries”. Mental health has been described as a workforce crisis.

It is increasingly acknowledged that the interventions to return workers with mental health conditions to the workplace are different from strategies generally utilized to return workers with physical conditions. Further, there may be greater susceptibility among workers with mental health conditions for recurring episodes of sickness absence.

At the individual level, RTW has been shown to be therapeutic, promoting recovery, rehabilitation and better health outcomes. At a broader level, improving RTW outcomes support organizations to maximize the productivity of all its workers, enhancing organizational success and contributions to the economic health of employees and the local community.

This self-paced online module, centred on evidence-informed practice, highlights what is currently known about contemporary workplace interventions that facilitate durable stay-at-work and RTW outcomes for people experiencing depression and/or anxiety.

At the end of this learning module, you will be able to:

  • Understand the economic and societal impacts of depression and anxiety;
  • Identify barriers and facilitators to return-to-work for people with depression and anxiety;
  • Demonstrate practical knowledge of evidence-informed stay-at-work and return-to-work interventions;
  • Select and implement practices based on the disability management continuum; and
  • Measure and evaluate the impact of evidence-informed RTW interventions for workers with depression and anxiety.



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