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Special Issue "The Relationship between Work, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention: Recent Advances and Perspectives"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Allison Milner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Health Equity Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Interests: psychosocial job stressors; work; occupation; gender; mental health; suicide; prevention intiatives
Dr. Tania L. King
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Health Equity, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia
Interests: social and health inequalities; housing affordability; employment; racism and discrimination; health promoting built environments; quantitative methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mental health is now a leading cause of disability worldwide. This is particularly observed in the working age population, and has catalysed interest among policy makers, practitioners, and researchers in the workplace, who see the workplace as a setting in which to address poor mental health and related outcomes such as suicidality. Embedding mental health and suicide prevention programs within workplace settings can help identify those at risk and provide insight into modifiable work-related risk factors. Workplace programs can also play a role in supporting employees’ knowledge and skills in mental health literacy, as well as rehabilitating workers back into work (when appropriate). However, there are still several gaps in our knowledge regarding the relationship between work and mental health/suicidal outcomes, and about the effectiveness of workplace prevention activities. These gaps in our knowledge are particularly prominent in specific occupational and demographic groups. In this issue, we are particularly interested in etiological and interventional work in male-dominated settings, such as the construction and mining industries. We also have an interest in new psychosocial stressors that may not have been considered previously in workplace mental health literacy, particularly if this applies to specific occupational groups at risk.

Related to this, we welcome papers related to evidence of successful intervention and prevention strategies (both in policy and in practice, including instructional education/counselling, work design, workplace environmental change, use of technology, and incentives), as well as etiological research initiatives set in a variety of “at risk” occupational settings. All manuscripts will be peer reviewed by experts in the field and are due in June 2019. The Guest Editors of this Special Issue are Allison Milner and Tania King of the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Allison Milner
Dr. Tania L. King
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mental health
  • suicide
  • workplace
  • occupation
  • intervention
  • prevention

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Understanding the Barriers and Pathways to Male Help-Seeking and Help-Offering: A Mixed Methods Study of the Impact of the Mates in Construction Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2979; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16162979 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
The Mates in Construction (MATES) program was developed to address the issue of high suicide rates among males in the Australian construction industry. The program delivers early intervention training and support to construction workers. This mixed-methods study aimed to (1) examine the effectiveness [...] Read more.
The Mates in Construction (MATES) program was developed to address the issue of high suicide rates among males in the Australian construction industry. The program delivers early intervention training and support to construction workers. This mixed-methods study aimed to (1) examine the effectiveness of training for MATES connectors and (2) examine the barriers, motivations and pathways to help-seeking and help-offering for both MATES connectors and clients. A total of 104 volunteers completed a short survey before and after connector training sessions. Quantitative data analysis showed significant increases in connectors’ self-reported suicide awareness, and willingness to offer help to workmates and seek help themselves. For the qualitative component, 27 connectors and clients participated in focus groups and individual interviews. Thematic analysis identified six themes from the connectors’ data: awareness, skills and confidence; removing stigma; making a difference; simplicity of the model; understanding the industry; and visibility, camaraderie and passion. For clients, three key themes emerged: barriers and pathways to help-seeking; speaking the same language; and flow-on effects. The results provide evidence for the effectiveness of connector training and indicate that MATES’s peer support model is enabling workers to overcome traditional barriers and attitudes to seeking and offering help. Full article
Article
Comparable Risk of Suicidal Ideation between Workers at Precarious Employment and Unemployment: Data from the Korean Welfare Panel Study, 2012–2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2811; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16162811 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1419
Abstract
Precarious employment and unemployment are important factors that impact suicidal behavior. This study investigated (1) how employment transitions among permanent employment, precarious employment, and unemployment are associated with suicidal ideation in working employees and compared (2) whether individuals transitioning among these three states [...] Read more.
Precarious employment and unemployment are important factors that impact suicidal behavior. This study investigated (1) how employment transitions among permanent employment, precarious employment, and unemployment are associated with suicidal ideation in working employees and compared (2) whether individuals transitioning among these three states were more vulnerable than those remaining. Using nationally representative longitudinal data between 2012–2017, a total of 25,862 adults aged 25 to 59 years old without a record of suicidal ideation were included at baseline. Transitions in employment status (permanent work, precarious work, or unemployment) and suicidal ideation were analyzed using hierarchical logistic regression models. Compared to the “permanent to permanent” group, individuals in the “permanent to precarious” (odds ratio (OR) 1.74, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.29–2.35], “permanent to unemployment” (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.32–2.96), “precarious to precarious” (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.21–2.85), and the “precarious to unemployment” (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.05–1.95) groups had higher odds of suicidal ideation. The magnitude of such odds was generally higher than that of individuals at annual unemployment or precarious states. The results show that adults moving in and out of different employment states have higher odds of suicidal ideation than individuals at annually static precarious or unemployment status. Full article
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Article
Neuropsychiatric Disorders in Farmers Associated with Organophosphorus Pesticide Exposure in a Rural Village of Northwest México
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 689; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16050689 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
This study aims to determine the degree of acetylcholinesterase inhibition and neurological symptoms for each of the psychiatric disorders diagnosed in the farm workers of a rural population in the state of Baja California, Mexico. We conducted a cross-sectional study on 140 agricultural [...] Read more.
This study aims to determine the degree of acetylcholinesterase inhibition and neurological symptoms for each of the psychiatric disorders diagnosed in the farm workers of a rural population in the state of Baja California, Mexico. We conducted a cross-sectional study on 140 agricultural workers (exposed participants). The study was run using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview Diagnostic Test (MINI), a pre-established questionnaire to diagnose the mental state of each agricultural worker. Analysis of enzymatic activity was carried out using the modified Ellman method. The results showed that, among agricultural workers with slightly inhibited enzymatic activity, 25% met the criteria for the diagnosis of major depression with suicidal attitudes, 23.9% with inhibited enzymatic activity showed generalized anxiety, 23.5% showed combined depression–anxiety, and 22% met the criteria for major depression and no psychiatric diagnosis disorder. These results suggest the need for the development of effective public-health strategies to inform farm workers about integrated pesticide management in order to prevent serious health complications. Full article
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Article
Are Young Men Getting the Message? Age Differences in Suicide Prevention Literacy among Male Construction Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 475; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16030475 - 06 Feb 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 21647
Abstract
Suicide is a leading cause of death among young men. Help-seeking is known to be poor among this group, and little is known about what interventions are most successful in improving suicide prevention literacy among young men. This research aims to examine: (1) [...] Read more.
Suicide is a leading cause of death among young men. Help-seeking is known to be poor among this group, and little is known about what interventions are most successful in improving suicide prevention literacy among young men. This research aims to examine: (1) age differences in beliefs related to suicide prevention literacy and attitudes to the workplace in addressing mental health among male construction workers; (2) age differences in response to a workplace suicide prevention program. Pre- and post-training survey data of 19,917 male respondents were obtained from a workplace training program database. Linear regression models and predictive margins were computed. Mean differences in baseline beliefs, and belief change were obtained for age groups, and by occupation. Young men demonstrated poorer baseline suicide prevention literacy but were more likely to consider that mental health is a workplace health and safety issue. There was also evidence that young men employed in manual occupations had poorer suicide prevention literacy than older men, and young men employed in professional/managerial roles. The youngest respondents demonstrated the greatest intervention-associated change (higher scores indicating more favourable belief change) to People considering suicide often send out warning signs (predicted mean belief change 0.47, 95% CI 0.43, 0.50 for those aged 15–24 years compared to 0.38, 95% CI 0.36, 0.41 for men aged 45 years and over), and to The construction industry must do something to reduce suicide rates (predicted mean belief change 0.17, 95% CI 0.15, 0.20 for those aged 15–24 years compared to 0.12, 95% CI 0.10, 0.14 among men aged 45 years and over). Results indicate that while suicide prevention literacy may be lower among young men, this group show amenability to changing beliefs. There were some indications that young men have a greater propensity to regard the workplace as having a role in reducing suicide rates and addressing mental health, highlighting opportunity for workplace interventions. Full article
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Protocol
Gendered Working Environments as a Determinant of Mental Health Inequalities: A Protocol for a Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16071169 - 01 Apr 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2066
Abstract
Both gender and employment are critical and intersecting social determinants of mental and physical health. This paper describes the protocol used to conduct a systematic literature review of the relationship between “gendered working environments” and mental health. Gendered working environments (GWE) are conceptualised [...] Read more.
Both gender and employment are critical and intersecting social determinants of mental and physical health. This paper describes the protocol used to conduct a systematic literature review of the relationship between “gendered working environments” and mental health. Gendered working environments (GWE) are conceptualised as involving: (1) differences in selection into work, and more specifically, occupations; (2) variation in employment arrangements and working hours; (3) disparities in psychosocial exposures at work, and; (4) differences in selection out of work. Methods/design: The review will adhere to a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) search procedure. Key words will be identified that are specific to each of the four domains of GWE. The databases used for the search will be Scopus, Pubmed, Proquest, and Web of Science. Keywords will be adapted for the specific requirements of each electronic database. Inclusion criteria are: Using a validated scale to measure mental health (outcome); including exposures related to the four domains of GWE; reporting estimates for both men and women; and use of a cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional design. Studies will be excluded if they were published more than 10 years ago, are not in English or do not present extractable data on the relationship between GWE and mental health. Discussion: The proposed review will provide evidence about the numerous and complex ways in which employment and gender intersect (and are reinforced) to influence mental health over the life course. Full article
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