Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) is an important component of Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology because it protects those within the workforce. One pressing issue that occupational health psychologists aim to research is the effect of stress on individuals in their workplace. The reason why this is so important is because the physical and mental effects that stress has on people can affect their lives within and outside of the workplace. Physical results of prolonged stress may include damage of various systems in the body such as the pulmonary, cardiovascular, and renal systems as well as the development of diseases (Truxillo et al., 2016). A decline in mental health is common with high levels of stress, with some individuals developing disorders such as anxiety, depression, and anorexia as a result of inadequate stress management programs (Truxillo et al., 2016). Such mental health disorders can be detrimental to one’s career as well as their employer. Occupational stress is not uncommon, considering that 65% of working people reported a large amount of stress according to a study by The American Psychological Association (Truxillo et al., 2016) A steady decline in mental and physical health due to stress commonly occurs when the stress management practices and resources within the workplace do not outweigh the demands of the job (Truxillo et al., 2016). However, stress management is sometimes seen as an individual problem rather than a workplace problem as compared to other problems of occupational health like safety standards (Kyaw-Myint & Strazdins, 2015). Because stress is seen as an individual issue, many behavioral problems often arise from workplace stress like lack of motivation, change in mood or attitude, coming in late or calling in sick, quitting the workplace, and even abusing substances in extreme cases (Truxillo et al., 2016). All of these problems can be early signs and symptoms of a mental disorder such as depression. Such behavioral problems or disorders can cause problems within the company such as loss in profits and productivity, and difficulty retaining their staff members. According to Mino et al. (2006), one of the most detrimental results of a lack of workplace stress management resources is mental health issues, specifically major depressive disorder. In this study, 28 manufacturing workers residing in Japan were randomly assigned to either a stress management program or a control group and then asked to assess their stress levels and depression levels via a self-administered questionnaire (Mino et al., 2006). Results of the study concluded that individuals who were randomly assigned to take part in the stress management program reported lower levels of depression than those who were not offered help, although the stress management did not have a significant effect on worker’s anxiety levels (Mino et al., 2016). Such cognitive-behavioral therapy programs or stress management programs have also been introduced within the United States, such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which aims to help employees to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. One shortcoming of the research of Mino et al. (2006) was that it failed to discuss the individual approaches to stress management that can be taken by employees outside of the workplace. Such changes that one could make to decrease stress levels would be making healthy changes in one’s diet, exercise, and sleep routines, as well as building a strong support system outside of the workplace to fight off physical and mental health problems (Truxillo et al., 2016) In a world with so many stressors, the workplace should contribute to making sure their employees are taken care of at work through adequate organizational stress reduction and management skills. After all, a healthy employee often means a more healthy and more profitable organization.
(1) Occupational health psychology promotes a primary prevention approach focusing effectively on the elimination of risks to employee’s safety and health and implementing the promotion of positive ex
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