Half of québec workers suffer from psychological distress

La moitié des travailleurs québécois souffrent de détresse psychologique

Photo: Nathan Denette Archives The canadian Press

About half of québec workers have a high level of psychological distress, shows a survey published Friday by researchers from the Université Laval.

In a first time, 56 % of women and 41% of men have reported a high level of psychological distress, for an average of 48 % of the quebec population at work.

“It is certain that the 48 %, on average, it was found that this was alarming, said the author of the study, professor Caroline Biron of the Faculty of administrative sciences of Université Laval. But at the same time, compared with our French cousins. […] It surprised us, yes it is high, but at the same time, it is still comparable. “

This is a significant increase compared to the data prépandémie collected in 2015 by the Institut de la statistique du Québec in the Survey of québec health of the population, which revealed a high level of distress in almost 33 % of women and 24% of men.

“When you look at the way in which it has been measured, so I felt nervous or I felt hopeless, good for nothing, and all that, may be that women will respond more to it, but at the same time it does not mean that men do not live distress, added Ms. Biron, who also heads the Centre of expertise in the management of health and safety in the workplace. We know that there is a higher suicide rate in men. “

Thirty-seven percent of the survey participants said they have of “presenteeism” — i.e., be gone to work sick in the last seven days, both among those who telework than among those who move to their place of employment.

Three-quarters of the respondents reported sleep problems, including 11 % who felt high intensity.

Companies caring

This study also allows to highlight the importance of organizations that might qualify as ” caring “, so those who are concerned not only for the safety of their employees, but also of their psychological health.

“It is striking to see to what extent it has an impact on psychological health, said dr. Biron. In the organizations that we are going to call caring, that have a climate of safety, psycho-social box, it was 37 % of people with elevated distress, compared to 61 % when a climate is perceived as being less benevolent. “

In addition, the organizations that gave a high priority to the psychological health were better than the other : these organizations were 24 % less people who reported being stranded high and 12 % more workers who said they were ” highly performing “.

“We are in a difficult economic climate and I have the impression that psychological health is a little poor child in health and safety, said dr. Biron. What we see is that when organizations are benevolent, there is less of psychosocial risks, and in return we have less distress, so it is from the top. “

The study also draws attention to the psychological distress of the frames of the first level, those who are asked to ensure the health and well-being of the troops. “That takes care of the frames ? Behind the framework there is a human being who lives in distress, ” said the researcher.

Finally, the support offered by the colleagues or the superiors, and the sense of gratitude that one feels in the workplace also have a significant impact on the psychological distress of employees.

The web-based survey was conducted from April 30 to may 7, with a sample of 1259 Quebec representative of the population in terms of age, sex and education. All respondents were professionally active at the time of the survey.

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