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Personal Life can Affect Mental Health Status at Work

Update Date: Sep 16, 2014 04:03 PM EDT

Even though people try to separate their personal lives from their work place, new evidence suggests that these two parts of life are inevitably linked when it comes to mental health. According to a study from Concordia University and the University of Montreal in Canada, the home setting can influence people's mental health at work.

"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," lead author Alain Marchand, professor at the University of Montreal's School of Industrial Relations, said.

For this study, the researchers were already aware of the many factors, such as job stress, demanding bosses and deadlines, unpaid overtime, and bad co-workers that affect work performance and burnout rates. Instead of only focusing on these factors, the team set out to examine how variables arising from one's personal life can affect one's work.

1,954 employees from 63 organizations were surveyed for factors such as parental status, household income, physical health and self-esteem levels. When the researchers examined these factors alongside factors associated with workplace, such as high psychological demands and job insecurity, the team found that people's mental health depended greatly on the combination of these factors.

The researchers found that employees, who lived with a partner, had young children, reported higher household income and had more social network support had fewer mental health problems. Employees who were received work support and recognition, and felt secure in their position also had fewer mental health problems.

"This is a call to action," commented senior author Steve Harvey, professor of management and dean of Concordia's John Molson School of Business according to Medical Xpress. "Researchers need to expand their perspective so that they get a full picture of the complexity of factors that determine individuals' mental health."

The study, "The multilevel determinants of workers' mental health: results from the SALVEO study," was published in the journal, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

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