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CTV-Money worries trigger mental illness

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    Posted: 02/June/2006 at 12:43pm

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060602 /mentallillness_study_060602/20060602?hub=TopStories

Anyone dealing with student loans will not be surprized by this CTV news story.

Money worries trigger mental illness, study says

Updated Fri. Jun. 2 2006 12:11 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Money concerns are causing stressed-out Canadians to put work first, exacerbating already existing levels of stress, anxiety and depression, according to a national survey.

Forty-four of respondents said money issues were the main source of rising stress levels that affect their productivity and well-being, according to the report commissioned by Desjardins Financial Security, which sells life and health insurance.

Over the past two years, 21 per cent of surveyed workers claimed they experienced various physical health problems were triggered by mental health issues.

Of this group, 62 per cent continued to work while ill because they feared lost wages or falling behind at work -- a phenomenon that the authors of the study call "presenteeism." While they kept up their regular work schedules, they made sacrifices in their personal lives, according to the survey conducted by SOM Surveys, Opinion Polls and Marketing.

The survey found that 59 per cent of these workers decided to scale back on personal commitments at the expense of relationships with family and friends.

"The costs and effects on people and companies are tremendous," said Alain Thauvette, senior vice-president of group and business insurance for Desjardins in Montreal.

"People returning to work because of perceived lost income is a growing issue for employers. Presenteeism, the feeling that you must show up for work even if you are too sick to be there is a main factor in employee stress and distraction. The results are productivity losses for companies. Employers need to pay attention," Thauvette added in a written statement.

The survey also found that devices such as wireless technology and laptops that are meant to help workers better manage their time are only contributing to their worklife stress.

According to the survey, of the 62 per cent of Canadian workers who carry wireless devices and laptops, 83 per cent said this technology has either increased their level of stress or maintained it.

Only 17 per cent of respondents said that such technological tools have decreased stress levels at work and allowed more control over time management.

Canadian workers they believe they must push themselves to hazardous limits to pay for their spending habits and keep their hard-earned jobs, psychiatrist Dr. Irvin Wolkoff said of the findings.

"The separation of personal and work time does not exist anymore, as people tend to test their luck in defence of their income," Wolkoff said in the statement.

"There needs to be a dramatic shift in society's responsibility toward its members. We live in a society that pushes people away from close, interpersonal relationships -- all at the pursuit of making more money. Many of these individuals are paying with their physical and mental health, and jeopardizing relationships with family and friends -- the ones that help them through their roughest times."

Employers should consider the impact stress is having on workers, because the resulting problems are costly and impact productivity, Chauvette said.

According to estimates made last year by the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Mental Health, stress and mental health problems represent 40 per cent of long-term disability claims and are responsible for 35 million lost workdays in Canada alone.

Stress is also fingered for 40 per cent of employee turnover and 60 per cent of workplace accidents that contribute to absenteeism.

The report was based on a telephone survey of 1,501 Canadian adults between March 8 and April 3, and is considered accurate within 2.6 percentage points.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aligujjar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/March/2011 at 6:18am
"People returning to work because of perceived lost income is a growing issue for employers. Presenteeism, the feeling that you must show up for work even if you are too sick to be there is a main factor in employee stress and distraction. The results are productivity losses for companies. Employers need to pay attention," Thauvette added in a written statement.
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