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Special Issue "Mental Health in the Workplace: Lessons Learned from the COVID 19 Pandemic"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2023 | Viewed by 7276

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Stephanie Knaak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Mental Health Commission of Canada, Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4, Canada
2. Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada
3. INSIGHT Research & Consulting, Golden, BC V0A 250, Canada
Interests: mental health in the workplace; mental illness and substance use stigma; evaluation of anti stigma and mental health interventions; program implementation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The protection and promotion of mental health in the workplace has become an increasingly important point of focus for researchers, organizations, policy makers and governments. Workplaces play an essential role in individuals’ mental health, as they can be both integral to the facilitation and protection of positive mental wellbeing as well as contributors to mental health problems and illnesses. Burnout, occupational stressors and stress injuries; an absence of psychological safety standards and policies; unhealthful workplace cultures; and mental illness stigma are but a few of the ways work conditions can negatively impact employees’ mental health, productivity and job satisfaction. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges and brought about considerable—and considerably varied—disruptions across work sectors, types of work environments, and workers themselves. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing tension points within work structures and workers’ gendered, racial, cultural and socioeconomic positionality, it has also created ever more opportunities to understand and address mental health in the context of work. 

This Special Issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) aims to further the knowledge about mental health in the workplace through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Issue seeks to explore lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that inform and shape our knowledge of workplace mental health priorities, strategies, initiatives, approaches and tools across a variety of sectors, work environments and worker groups. Accepted manuscript types include original research articles, reviews, brief reports and commentaries. Papers that discuss the design, implementation and evaluation of organizational interventions are encouraged, as are cost–benefit analyses and theoretical papers that provide guidance on how to develop effective mental health strategies in specific workplace sectors, environments or groups.

Dr. Stephanie Knaak
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • workplace mental health
  • COVID-19 and mental health
  • mental health interventions
  • occupational stress
  • employee mental health
  • burnout

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Work-Related Stress of Work from Home with Housemates Based on Residential Types
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 3060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053060 - 05 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1144
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on work environments. Many workers have been requested or instructed to work from home (WFH). This study aimed to clarify the work-related stress of WFH regarding housemates based on residential types during the COVID-19 pandemic. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on work environments. Many workers have been requested or instructed to work from home (WFH). This study aimed to clarify the work-related stress of WFH regarding housemates based on residential types during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a web-based questionnaire survey of 500 workers living with housemates in Osaka Prefecture. The WFH environments were analyzed on the basis of high-stress workers (HSWs), which accounted for 17.4% of all subjects, according to three major types of residences in Japan. The main finding is that HSWs with housemates had problems related to noise regardless of the type of residence. This study of workers living with housemates in an urban area contrasts with the findings of preceding study, which found that satisfaction with noise in the environment was higher at home than in the office. HSWs in detached houses and condominium apartments had problems with the levels of noise created by their housemates. The residents living in these types of residences were found to be relatively older, thus potentially having older children who would require a certain level of privacy. WFH workers with insufficient privacy were unable to adapt to WFH environments and suffered from high stress. Full article
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Article
COVID-19 and Physical Distancing Measures: Experience of Psychiatric Professionals in Europe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042214 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1426
Abstract
A The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the organization of psychiatric care. The present study examines how care professionals experienced this period and faced these new constraints weighing on their professional practices. Based on a qualitative research methodology, 13 group [...] Read more.
A The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the organization of psychiatric care. The present study examines how care professionals experienced this period and faced these new constraints weighing on their professional practices. Based on a qualitative research methodology, 13 group interviews with healthcare professionals working in psychiatric wards were conducted in five countries in western Europe. To complement this, 31 individual interviews were carried out in Belgium and France. Public health measures hindered certain therapeutic activities, jeopardized communication, and obliged healthcare professionals to modify and adapt their practices. Confronted with a transformation of their usual roles, healthcare professionals feared a deterioration in the quality of care. Impossible to continue in-person care practices, they resorted to online videoconferencing which went against their idea of care in which the encounter holds an essential place. The lockdown contradicted efforts to co-build care pathways toward readaptation, social reintegration, and recovery, thus reviving the perception of psychiatric hospitalization based on isolation. Full article
Article
Psychological Distress and Work Environment Perception by Physical Therapists from Southern Italy during COVID-19 Pandemic: The C.A.L.A.B.R.I.A Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9676; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189676 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
The psychosocial impact of the work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic on health professionals is a growing issue. The present study examined specific psychosocial work environment indicators during the COVID-19 pandemic, through a multiple regression model of a self-administered cross-sectional online survey in [...] Read more.
The psychosocial impact of the work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic on health professionals is a growing issue. The present study examined specific psychosocial work environment indicators during the COVID-19 pandemic, through a multiple regression model of a self-administered cross-sectional online survey in a cohort of physical therapists from a region of Southern Italy from March 2020 to May 2021. The questionnaire contained items on work and healthcare issues related to COVID-19. Eighty physical therapists (29 male and 51 female), mean age 32.5 ± 10.1 years, were involved in this survey. The multiple regression analysis showed that “management activity” was significantly correlated to “therapist frustration” during the COVID-19 pandemic (ΔR2 = 0.16; p < 0.03). Findings of this study underline the importance of a healthy psychosocial work environment to enhance job satisfaction of all health professionals and to avoid role conflict and burnout syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
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Article
“One of My Basic Necessities of Life Is Work. That’s Just Broken Away.”—Explorative Triangulation of Personal and Work-Related Impacts for Supervisors and Disabled Employees in German Social Firms during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 8979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178979 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Social firms are located on the general labor market and employ 30–50% of severely disabled people. Findings on personal and work-related impacts for employees and supervisors during the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet available and will be investigated in the present study. Using [...] Read more.
Social firms are located on the general labor market and employ 30–50% of severely disabled people. Findings on personal and work-related impacts for employees and supervisors during the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet available and will be investigated in the present study. Using the approach of a method triangulation, focus groups with employees and individual interviews with supervisors of several social firms from the North of Germany were combined and collected in parallel. Between July and November 2020, 16 semi-structured telephone interviews with supervisors and three focus groups with 3–6 employees each working within the same team (14 employees in total) were conducted. Both formats were recorded, transcribed, anonymized, and analyzed by using Mayring’s qualitative content analysis. Because a large proportion of the employees and supervisors interviewed worked in the gastronomy sector, they were particularly affected by the “restriction of social contacts” beginning in March 2020. Hygiene and distance regulations were implemented and personnel planning and distribution of work were adapted. Challenges were raised for employees with disabilities due to the implementation of hygiene and distance regulations, a sudden loss of work, lacking routines, additional work, a lack of movement, social contacts and financial challenges. Both employees and supervisors reported fears of infection, conflicts, additional work and fears of job loss. Additionally, supervisors dealt with less staffing, challenges in detaching from work and a strained economic situation. Overall, new insights were gained into the work-related impacts for employees and supervisors in inclusive workplaces during the current COVID-19 pandemic but further research on health-promoting structures is needed. Full article
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