Cultivating Psychologically Healthy and Safe Work Environments
The quality of work environments and the health and well-being of Canada's healthcare workforce both dramatically affect the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of health care services. Rates of burnout and poor mental health issues among health professionals are high and rising, and rates of absenteeism, illness and disability are higher in the health workforce than any other worker group in Canada. Work in this thematic area will focus on the development of healthy workplaces, defined by the Quality Worklife- Quality Healthcare Collaborative as "a work setting that takes a strategic and comprehensive approach to providing the physical, cultural, psychosocial and work/job design conditions that maximize health and wellbeing of healthcare providers, quality of patient outcomes and organizational performance". This theme will also focus on issues of work-life balance, stress, burnout, absenteeism, illness and disability among health workers, and optimizing the mental and physical well-being of the health workforce.
Brenda Gamble is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University, and Ontario Tech University’s Principal Investigator for the Canadian Atlas of Palliative Care – Pilot Study. Brenda’s research focuses on the allied health workforce in the community/institutional settings, youth resilience, second victim experiences, and access to services in the community. A recent example of her contributions to workers in the community is illustrated by the co-development of a simulated learning experience for health workers and community members to reduce stigma related to dementia to support safe learning and work environments.