Helping Employees Manage Mental Health Challenges

| Health and Wellness

Female doctor talking to a patient.

Did you know that, in any given year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem or illness? By age 40, about half of the population will have or have had a mental illness, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

For working-age individuals, mental health can negatively affect productivity on the job. In any given week, half a million employed Canadians are unable to work because of mental health problems, says CivicAction, a civic engagement organization based in Toronto.

Employers want to help, but many are at a loss for how to support employees struggling with mental illness. Employers must also find ways to manage the cost and impact of absence in the workplace. At many workplaces, an absence management program can help to address both needs.

How does absence management help?

A well-developed absence management program helps employers reduce the cost and impact of all types of short-term and long-term illness and disability in the workplace.

At Bayshore Therapy & Rehab, our Absence Management Solutions program helps employees stay healthy and productive at work. We work with employers across Canada to develop effective, customized prevention strategies and disability management programs.

We provide services to clients with mental health conditions as primary diagnoses, and to clients experiencing mental health issues concurrent with other conditions or injuries. We support clients whose mental health condition affects their activities of daily living, as well as individuals who are struggling with remaining at or returning to work.

Our psychologists and mental health professionals have the expertise to provide assessment, counselling and rehabilitation services. We support clients with several evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), exposure therapy and eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Clients access psychological and mental health services as their needs and experiences change. The type of service could include psychological assessment, complex psychological treatment and mental health occupational therapy. The goal is to support clients in achieving mental well-being, regaining independence in their personal and professional lives, and developing long-term resilience and coping techniques.

When an employee is on medical leave, our early intervention services will facilitate a timely and safe return-to-work program. We engage the employee, the manager, the union, the insurer and other parties as appropriate to ensure a successful resolution. We bridge the gap between a treating physician’s recommendations and an employee’s return to work.

What services are involved?

We work closely with our clients to customize intervention programs. Options may include:

  • Initial screening of the challenges affecting an individual, which will help to connect clients to appropriate services (e.g., psychological assessment, counselling, mental health occupational therapist, clinical approaches, etc.)
  • Counselling and skill development coaching for clients around various goals, including motivation, attendance, assertiveness, effective communication, etc.
  • Psychological and mental health assessments to determine employment readiness and needs, including psych-vocational assessments, career guidance assessments, functional assessments, cognitive and developmental assessments, etc.
  • Integrating psychological intervention with occupational therapy to determine the need for accommodation in the workplace (e.g., ergonomics, modified work hours and duties)
  • Programs to improve the ability of individuals struggling with addiction challenges to maintain gainful employment

Return-to-work interventions

A job can provide people with a support network, social outlets, financial resources, goals, a sense of accomplishment and a routine that are integral to their sense of identity and purpose. We work with clients from a supportive perspective that acknowledges the importance of employment in an individual’s overall mental health and wellness.

When the rehabilitation process enters the return-to-work phase, we use our Early Intervention (“3E”) Approach, designed for individuals experiencing mental health issues as a primary barrier to staying at work or returning to work.

Bayshore provides early intervention screening to identify employees at risk for short-term disability claims. It also provides a clinical framework for return to work for those who are already absent from work on short-term or long-term disability benefits.

Our Goal Focused Mental Health Program (GFMHP) provides effective support and interventions to successfully and durably return clients to work. The program also reduces the risk for short-term disability and reduces or eliminates pattern absences.

The program adopts a return-to-work focus to address mental-health-related functional impairments, in the context of an individual’s work environment and job demands, concurrent physical limitations, other health-care interventions, and disability insurance systems. We also offer evidence-based assessment and rehabilitation services to treat the presenting conditions, and we support individuals in building their resilience and learning techniques to manage their condition independently over the long term.

By actively working with complex conditions including mental health cases using a validated approach focused on function and work, we improve both clinical and return-to-work outcomes and help employers minimize the impact of absence and disability in the workplace.

To learn more about Bayshore Therapy & Rehab’s Absence Management Program and our other Employer Services, please call 1-855-581-4746.