Delivery and Evaluation of a Mental health Promotion Intervention for Alberta Workplace Supervisors and Managers

This service and evaluation project originated from the Alberta courts via the collaboration of two Alberta Ministries; (1) Alberta Justice & Soliciter General and (2) Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. The impetus arose when a judge in an environmental protection case observed a need for additional attention to the mental health of workers. An Alberta firm was fined for an environmental offence, and since the root cause of the infraction involved an employee with a mental health problem, the presiding judge invoked a “creative sentencing” approach. Three-quarters of the fine was awarded to the Institute of Health Economics to undertake and evaluate a mental health promotion project relevant to the improvement of conditions in the Alberta workplace.

Mental Health Works (of the Canadian Mental Health Association) was commissioned to present a 2-day workshop (sessions were separated by 30 days) for senior workplace staff (“influencers”). Sessions dealt with the recognition of mental health problems, connecting with troubled employees, management influences, and suggested worksite policy and procedural changes. Workshop quality, mental health impact, mental health knowledge, and resultant worksite program activities were measured before and after the workshop sessions and 3 – 5 months later.

Workshop session day 1 was successfully delivered to 35 persons, while 28 attended day 2. The findings across our three evaluation components can be summarized quite simply. There was strong evidence for workshop quality, there was good evidence that participant learning took place, and there were indicators that some positive developments were initiated in the workplaces of the attendees. This project made use of a manualized, and therefore replicable, workshop presentation that dealt with important mental health matters and showed meaningful effectiveness and promise. Therefore, a more widespread use of these, or similar, workshops is recommended.

Publication Type: Economic Reports

Year of Publication: 2013

Topics: Health Economics / Healthcare Costs, Mental Health

Authors: Angus Thompson, Philip Jacobs, Jessica Moffatt, Arianna Waye

ISBN (online): 978-1-926929-14-9