Identifying and implementing current practices in supporting workers with depression

Reasons for the study

The burden associated with managing the effects of depression in the workplace is extensive. Workers with depression lose significantly more health-related productive time, have higher rates of absenteeism and short-term disability, and experience higher rates of job turnover than those without depression. Since the late 2000s, the Institute for Work & Health has conducted a series of systematic reviews on the effectiveness of intervention approaches to manage workers’ depression, support return to work, and reduce associated productivity losses. This project draws upon this research evidence—and integrates it with both practitioner expertise and worker and employer preferences—to help identify current practices in managing and implementing depression-related support programs in the workplace.

Objectives of the study

  • To combine findings from the peer-reviewed and grey literature with data from an online survey, focus groups, and interviews with employers and employees
  • To use this evidence to create a guide for workplaces outlining practices for supporting employees experiencing depression

Anticipated results/impact

This project brings together both the research evidence and current practices about supporting and accommodating workers with depression in order to create a comprehensive resource for workplaces from all sectors who require strategies to manage depression in the workplace.

Related presentations

Project status


Research team

Dwayne Van Eerd, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Siobhan Cardoso, Institute for Work & Health
Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health
Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health
Morgane Le Pouésard, Institute for Work & Health
Quenby Mahood, Institute for Work & Health
Anita Dubey, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Judy Geary, National Institute of Disability Management and Research

Participating organizations

Alberta Workers’ Health Centre
B.C. Federation of Labour
Mood Disorders Association of B.C.

Funded by