Mental Health in the Workplace

A survey of Thunder Bay employers found that 40% indicated mental health as a high priority issue (Thunder Bay District Health Unit, unpublished). Mental illness is to the 21st century what physical industrial diseases were to the 19th and 20th centuries. Identifying, developing, implementing and evaluating tools and interventions designed to mitigate impacts of mental health disorders on workers and workplaces remains an ongoing challenge.

The Institute has attracted a number of students interested in workplace mental health. Given the importance of this topic to local employers, we are well positioned to address stakeholders’ and knowledge users’ concerns in this area for a number of years. We will continue to build on current collaborations with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (Superior Mental Wellness @ Work), and others to address this important topic.

Dr. Deborah Scharf, with considerable experience working in the area of mental health in the workplace, is the theme leader for this area of the Institute.

Check out our current projects addressing mental health in the workplace! If you are interested in learning more about the NOWWHS cohort study, please visit or check out our News & Events page!

TBDHU Workplace Mental Health Survey - Results are in!

Earlier this year, workplace leaders in Thunder Bay and District were invited to participate in a workplace mental health survey. The study aimed to better understand the perceptions and needs of leaders when it comes to mental health in the workplace. The results revealed that: 

  • Workplace mental health is more important to employers now than before the pandemic.

  • Employers are reporting high levels of mental health concerns, stigma, and challenges in the workplace.

  • Employers are interested in learning more about addressing chronic high stress and burnout, mental health promotion and prevention strategies and accommodation of staff with mental illness.

The study was conducted in partnership with Superior Mental Wellness @ Work. The survey results were used to inform the development of a strategic plan for the Superior Mental Wellness @ Work Advisory Group which aims to provide information and resources that support workplaces to reduce psychological hazards and maintain positive mental health for employees.

Check out the infographic below!

A mental health infographic

Calling all RNs, RPNs and PSWs!

Check out our current projects addressing mental health in the workplace!

Calling all Personal Support Workers, Registered Practical Nurses, and Registered Nurses! Did you work in a Northwestern Ontario long-term care home between 2020 - 2022? We want to hear from you.

Fill out the Google Form to participate in our study: "Moral Distress During the Pandemic: Impacts on the Mental Health of Long-Term Care Home Staff." You can find the form here:

For more information on this research, please contact Caroline Sabotig at

A recruitment poster