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Depression Prevention in the Workplace: What the Research Shows About Interventions That Work

Monday, July 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET
Recorded in July 2019

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Depression is prevalent in workplace and has a huge impact on employee health and productivity. However, employers and organizations are struggling in finding measures for dealing with this significant health and economic issue. There are many strategies for reducing the burden of workplace depression. Dr. JianLi Wang's team at the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research has conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis that identified evidence - based interventions that may be used as proactive measures for preventing workplace depression. 

You will learn:
  • different types of public health strategies for preventing depression 
  • effective workplace interventions for depression [demonstrated by randomized controlled trials] 

JianLi Wang, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Director. Work & Mental Health Research Unit, Institute of Mental Health Research

Dr. JianLi Wang is a Professor of the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. He holds the position of Senior Scientist and Director, Work & Mental Health Research Unit of the Institute of Mental Health Research affiliated with University of Ottawa. Prior to joining uOttawa in 2017, he was a Professor of the Departments of Psychiatry and of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary. Dr. Wang received his PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Wang’s research interests are in two areas: workplace mental health and risk prediction analytics. In the domain of workplace mental health, Dr. Wang is leading a national team project on early identification and prevention of major depression in male workers, funded by Movember Foundation. This project is to develop and evaluate e-mental health program to be used by male workers to reduce the risk of having major depression. In the risk prediction research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dr. Wang’s team developed and validated the first sex-specific prediction algorithms for the risk of developing major depression in the general population. Presently his team is conducting a national randomized controlled trial to examine the benefits and potential psychological harms associated with disclosing personalized depression risk information to users.​​


Lawrence Blake​

Manager of Workplace Mental Health for the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario ​


Q: We didn't find on your review Canada study. Why?  ​
A: Our review focused on indicated studies using the design of randomized controlled trial. We reviewed 136 full text studies, but 121 were excluded because they did not meet the inclusion criteria defined prior to the review. So the reasons why no Canadian studies were included, are: 1) there are no relevant Canadian RCTs, and/or 2) the Canadian studies do not meet the inclusion criteria. 

Q: Is there any depression prevention strategies according to Aboriginal culture?​
A: ​​We included all RCTs that met the inclusion criteria. There is no ​​RCT focusing on Aboriginal culture in the workplace. There may be depression prevention studies in Aboriginal people, but not necessarily in the workplace. Reviewing this type of studies is beyond the scope of this review, which is indicated prevention of workplace depression. ​

Co-presented by:

Partially funded by:​


Last Modified: 1/26/2018 3:58 PM