Work and mental health: maintaining equilibrium



Our knowledge of the organization and work conditions that have a negative effect on the mental health of employees has evolved a great deal. This progress has allowed us to determine the causes of the suffering that afflicts certain groups and individuals. Now we need to find effective remedies! Yet, not much is known about the interventions that may influence the main determining factors of mental health at the workplace. L'Équipe de recherche sur les interrelations personnelles, organisationnelles et sociales du travail (Research Team for Personal, Organizational and Social Interrelations at Work), directed by Renée Bourbonnais from Université Laval and that includes researchers in education, in rehabilitation, in social medicine and in industrial relations, is working on rectifying this situation. The team has developed an expertise in the implementation and evaluation of interventions aimed at making organizational changes for reducing psychosocial constraints at work and their associated health problems. 

The research team carried out a study of Quebec correctional officers at the request of union leaders and the Ministry of Public Safety, who were concerned about elevated absenteeism rates and numerous health problems found in these workers. The results of this research and of other studies shed light on the factors that facilitate the implementation of organizational changes. Among other things, they emphasize the importance of the participation of those who are affected by the changes (management, administrators and the workers themselves) by adopting more democratic methods and by recognizing the skills of the workers. 

The researchers have published numerous scientific and popular articles, including the report Évaluation d'une intervention participative visant la prévention de la violence entre membres d'une même organisation de travail. They are currently working on the development of a practical tool for applying the knowledge acquired through their research to various types of work environment. They are also contributing a chapter to an international collaborative book on psychosocial risk management at the workplace.

Team

Équipe de recherche sur les interrelations personnelles, organisationnelles et sociales du travail

Director

Renée Bourbonnais, Université Laval

Regular members

  • Céline Castonguay, Université du Québec à Rimouski 
  • Andrew Freeman, Université Laval 
  • Nathalie Gauthier, CSSS de la Vieille-Capitale 
  • Nathalie Jauvin, CSSS de la Vieille-Capitale 
  • Andrée LaRue, CSSS de la Vieille-Capitale 
  • Romaine Malenfant, Université du Québec en Outaouais 
  • Robert Plante, Direction de la santé publique de l'Outaouais 
  • Michel Vézina, Université Laval