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Glossary

  • Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term exposure to demanding work situations. Burnout is the cumulative result of stress.[1]
  • Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion (CWHP) is an approach to protecting and enhancing the health of employees that relies and builds upon the efforts of employers to create a supportive management under and upon the efforts of employees to care for their own well-being.[2] It is a continuous process that looks at environmental improvement (physical, psychosocial, organizational, economic), personal empowerment and personal growth.[3]
  • Concurrent disorder: An individual who is experiencing both a mental illness and a substance abuse problem.[4]
  • Consumer, consumer/survivor and survivor are North American terms to describe people who have experienced mental illness. These terms are used to value the particular experience and point of view that people who have, or have had, mental illness bring with them.[5]
  • Discrimination describes the way people living with mental illness are treated, intentionally or unintentionally, due to stigma. People with mental illness are often treated with disrespect, experiencing such behaviours as exclusion, bullying, aggression, ridicule and devaluation. Such discrimination can result in limits and barriers to many of life’s opportunities.[6]
  • EAP is an Employee Assistance Program.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential, voluntary program of information, referral and/or counselling designed to help employees with a variety of personal problems.
  • Employee health program is a program designed to maintain or enhance employee health. Also referred to as workplace health program.
  • Environment refers to the surroundings, conditions, or circumstances that affect people’s lives. In this document it refers to the factors in the workplace or at home that affect employee wellness.
  • Environmental scan: a form of situational assessment.
  • Feedback groups are informal group sessions led by a facilitator and designed to elicit information on a specific topic. In this document, feedback groups refer to groups of 10-12 employees participating in a feedback session to help validate and enhance survey results.
  • Flourishing mental health is an individual’s subjective well-being, of which there are several dimensions – emotional well-being (e.g., positive affect, happiness, life satisfaction), psychological well-being (e.g., self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose), and social well-being (e.g., social acceptance).[7]
  • Fitness is the degree to which a person’s physical condition is conducive to good health.
  • Health is the extent to which a person’s physical, mental and spiritual resources enable them to cope with the environment.
  • Health practices are voluntary activities affecting health, such as smoking, exercise and diet.
  • Indicator: a category of change that is used to judge programs.
  • Languishing mental health is the absence of mental health (extremely poor) and the opposite of flourishing (optimal mental health). People who are languishing are neither mentally ill nor mentally healthy; rather, they are living lives of despair, “running on empty,” and feeling “hollow” or devoid of positive emotions toward life (Keyes, 2003; Keyes & Haidt, 2003).[8]
  • Logic model is a diagrammatic representation of a program.[9] A logic model provides a graphic depiction of the relationship between the main strategies of a program and associated goals, objectives, population(s) of interest, indicators and resources.
  • Mental health isa state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”[10]
  • Mental health literacy is the knowledge and skills that enable people to access, understand and apply information to mental health.
  • Mental health promotion is the process of developing positive mental health for and with the community in general, and for and with individuals who experience mental illness. The concept of mental health promotion recognizes that people’s mental health is inextricably linked to their relationship with others, environmental and lifestyle factors, and the degree of power they can exert over their lives.[11]
  • Mental illness is “a recognized, medically diagnosable illness that results in the significant impairment of an individual’s cognitive, affective, or relational abilities.”[12]
  • Mobbing is an ongoing, systematic and often unintentional bullying, such as social ostracism and exclusion, of an individual by his or her colleagues.[13]
  • Needs assessment is a process or tool designed to gather information on the health needs of employees with reference to their health practices and the work environment.
  • Organizational culture refers to the underlying values and beliefs that guide workplace behaviours.
  • Personal resources, in this document, refers to the psychological and social means by which people cope with the various stresses in their environment.
  • Presenteeism is the reduced productivity of someone who is present at work but either physically and/or mentally unwell, and therefore not as effective, efficient or productive as they would normally be.[14] It is an inability to focus and achieve work outcomes due difficulty concentrating because of stressors. The distracting stressors often include health problems, workplace conflict, bullying and home-life issues.
  • Psychological health is a state of mental well-being which consists of the ability to think, feel and behave in a manner that enables a person to perform at work and at home.
  • Psychological injury is a stress-related emotional condition resulting from real or imagined threats or injuries that may become the subjects of personal injury litigation, workers compensation claims, criminal injury compensation, other disability claims or human rights tribunals. It is an injury to mental well-being and/or an injury to or loss of cognitive function.[15]
  • Psychological safety is the risk that a worker might experience injury to, or loss of, cognitive function or injury to mental well-being. It calls for taking precautions in order to avert injury, danger or loss to cognitive function and to maintain mental well-being.[16]
  • Psychologically safe workplace is a workplace that does not permit harm to employee mental health in careless, negligent, reckless or intentional ways.
  • Psychosocial Risk Factors (PSRs) are organizational factors that impact psychological safety and health of employees.
  • Qualitative research is the gathering and analysing of data based on interviewees’ own perceptions or experiences in order to provide insight into their beliefs about their circumstances rather than measurable data.[17]
  • Quantitative research is the gathering and analysing of measurable data. [18]
  • Situational assessment is a process that identifies analyzes and prioritizes what is required of a program by looking at the problems and difficulties, as well as the assets and opportunities of a community or organization.[19]
  • Societal norms are customs, expectations and standards for behaviour that exist within a group of people, culture or society. Social norms may be explicit or implicit.
  • Stigma is the negative and prejudicial ways in which people living with mental illness are labelled. Stigma is an internal attitude and belief held by individuals, often about a minority group such as people with mental illness.[20]
  • Substance abuse, in this document, refers to “a maladaptive pattern of substance use manifested by recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to the repeated use of substances.”[21]
  • Stress, in this document, as in most health promotion literature, refers to potentially negative physical or mental tensions experienced by a person.
  • Stressor refers to any event or situation that an individual perceives as a threat; precipitates either adaptation or the stress response.[22]
  • Target group is a group that has a common need, can be identified as having that need and can be reached through health programs.
  • Wellness and well-being is the personal experience of physical and mental health.
  • Work-life balance is a state of well-being that a person can reach, or can set as a goal, in order to allow that person to manage effectively multiple responsibilities at work, at home and in the community. Work-life balance is different for everyone. It supports physical, emotional, family, and community health and does so without grief, stress or negative impact.[23]
  • Work-life conflict occurs when roles within the workplace and outside it are overwhelming to an employee or interfering with one another.[24]
  • Workplace: the organization or business employing a person.
  • Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour directed towards a worker, or group of workers, that creates a risk to health and safety.
  • Workplace harassment: engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
  • Workplace health committee is the committee or task group responsible for developing workplace health programs.
  • Workplace health promotion program is a continuous process for the enhancement of the quality of working life, health and well-being of all working populations (management and employees) through environmental improvement (physical, psychosocial, organizational, economic), personal empowerment and personal growth.[25]
  • Workplace violence is an exercise of physical force or the attempt to exercise physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes, or could cause, physical injury to the worker.
  • Worksite is the actual place of work.

[1] Mayo Clinic, “Job burnout: Understand symptoms and take action” (2008) Accessed January 11, 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/burnout/WL00062

[2] Martin Shain, & H. Suurvali, (2001). Investing in Comprehensive Workable Health Promotion. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). 5.

[3] Workplace Health Promotion Program, “The ABCs of a WHP Programme,” Singapore Government, (2007) http://www.hpb.gov.sg/hpb/default.asp?pg_id=2158 (accessed January 6, 2010).

[4] Centre for addiction and mental health, “Challenges and Choices: Finding mental health services in Ontario.(Glossary)” (2007) http://www.camh.net/Care_Treatment/Resources_clients_families_friends/Challenges_and_Choices/challenges_choices_glossary.html (accessed January 6, 2010).

[5] Canadian Mental Health Association, “Glossary of Terms. Mental Health Promotion Toolkit: a practical resource for community initiatives,” (1999) http://www.cmha.ca/mh_toolkit/intro/glossary.htm (accessed January 6, 2010).

[6] Mental Health Commission of Canada, “Countering stigma and discrimination: Operational plan” (Mental Health Commission of Canada 2008).

[7] Corey Keyes, “Complete mental health: An agenda for the 21st century,” (2003): 293 quoted in C. Keyes & J. Haidt Flourishing. Positive psychology and the life well-lived (Washington: American Psychological Association, 2003).

[8] Corey Keyes, “Complete mental health: An agenda for the 21st century,” (2003): 293 quoted in C. Keyes & J. Haidt Flourishing. Positive psychology and the life well-lived (Washington: American Psychological Association, 2003).

[9] Rush, B., and Ogborne, A, “Program logic models: expanding their role and structure for program planning and evaluation,” The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation 6 (1991): 95.

[10] World Health Organization [WHO]. “Strengthening mental health promotion (Fact Sheet No. 220.),” (2001) www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en (accessed January 6, 2010).

[11] Canadian Mental Health Association, “Glossary of Terms. Mental Health Promotion Toolkit: a practical resource for community initiatives,” (1999) http://www.cmha.ca/mh_toolkit/intro/glossary.htm (accessed January 6, 2010).

[12] Jake Epp, “Mental health for Canadians: Striking a balance,” Health & Welfare Canada (1988).

[13] Mental Health Works, “Cubicle bullies: “Mobbing” at work,” Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, http://www.mentalhealthworks.ca/articles/mobbing_at_work.asp (accessed January 6, 2010).

[14] Joan Burton, “Healthy workplace framework and model: Background and supporting literature and practices,” World Health Organization (2009). http://www.who.int/occupational_health/healthy_workplace_framework.pdf

[15] William Koch, Kevin Douglas, Tonia Nicholls, Melanie L O’Neill, “Definition and History of the Concept of Psychological Injury,” Psychological Injuries. 20 (2005): 3.

[16] Guarding Minds at Work, “What is psychological safety and health?” http://www.guardingmindsatwork.ca/info/safety_what (accessed  November  9, 2009).

[17] Combat Poverty Agency, “Glossary of Poverty and Social Inclusion Terms,” http://www.cpa.ie/povertyinireland/glossary.htm (accessed December 29th, 2009).

[18] Ibid

[19] THCU, “Workplace Situational Assessment Toolkit, Glossary,” (2006) http://www.thcu.ca/workplace/sat/glossary.cfm#ss (Accessed November 20, 2009).

[20] Mental Health Commission of Canada, “Countering stigma and discrimination: Operational plan” (Mental Health Commission of Canada 2008).

[21] American Psychiatric Association, “Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV 4th ed,” American Psychiatric Association, (2000), http://www.ccsa.ca/Eng/KnowledgeCentre/OurDatabases/Glossary/Pages/index.aspx (Accessed November 6, 2009).

[22] Michael Olpin and Margie Hesson. Stress Management for Life: A Research-Based, Experiential Approach. Thomson Wadsworth, 2007. 436.

[23] Chris Higgins and Linda Duxbury. “The 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study: Report One,” Health Canada, (2002) http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/work-travail/report1/index-eng.php (accessed December 1, 2009).

[24] Chris Higgins and Linda Duxbury. “Key Findings and Recommendations from The 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study,” Health Canada, (2009) http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/occup-travail/balancing_six-equilibre_six/index-eng.php (accessed December 1, 2009).

[25] Workplace Health Promotion Program, “The ABCs of a WHP Programme,” Singapore Government, (2007) http://www.hpb.gov.sg/hpb/default.asp?pg_id=2158 (accessed January 6, 2010).