The level of coping skills was determined by asking

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The level of coping skills was determined by asking employees what coping strategies they used to manage their mental illness. Negative coping methods included drinking, smoking and suicidal ideation. Positive coping mechanisms included seeking professional support and family supports. Each positive strategy employed and each negative strategy not employed scored one point. Each negative strategy employed and each positive strategy not employed scored one point. Total scores were used to determine if the respondent had low (0-2 points), moderate (2.1-3 points), high (3.1-4 points) or optimal (4.1-5 points) coping skills.
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17 Of those who identified as having experienced mental illness, 29% of were using or had used alcohol to cope whereas 17% noted tobacco use 23 . Notably, 58% of respondents reported they had considered suicide as an option for coping with their mental illness, of which 18% had gathered the means for carrying out their suicidal intention, and 18% had attempted 24 . From the perspective of healthy coping skills, 45% of participants who identified as having experienced mental illness made use of family resources and 82% made use of professional treatment 25 . Of those accessing professional treatment, 50% made use of talk therapy, 53% used or had used prescription medication (29% prescribed by a physician and 24% by a psychiatrist), and 20% made use of an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) through their employer 26 . There were also generational differences noted in the participants of The Mental Health Experience in Canada's Workplaces survey. For those participants under the age of 35, 47% did not seek support, did not know how to access it, or did not realize it was available. In contrast, 65% displayed high to optimal coping skills 27 . Of those participants over the age of 35, 51% noted a high concern for self-stigma surrounding their mental illness, and 22% noted that they did not seek any form of support due to distrust 28 . Further to this, 53% of participants over the age of 35 displayed high to optimal coping skills 29 . 23 , 21 , 23,24, 25 Howatt, W., & Adams, J. (2017). Survey finds employees wary to tell work about a mental health issue.
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18 What measures can be taken against mental health problems and mental illnesses in the workplace? The mental health strategy and programs used, or lack of, can predict how effectively an organization prevents and curbs mental health problems in the workplace. For example, organizations that adopt the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace 30 provide a framework to mitigate mental health risk, as well as a management system that is focused on self- correction and improvement.
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  • Fall '19
  • mental health, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Mental Health Experience

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