There are more than three-quarter of a million health care workers in Ontario.
Not only are patients aging and requiring more intensive care, but the workforce itself is aging and facing increases workload stress.
The Ministry of Labour has issued its 2012-13 health and safety plan for the sector, noting these kinds of increased challenges.
That includes musculoskeletal disorders related to increased residential care – especially when increasingly the workplace is in “uncontrolled environments” such as a patient’s home.
Employers in the public sector may need to think a lot more about the state of mental health as it impacts the workplace.
A new round of restraint is likely to create heightened anxiety among those at risk of losing their jobs, and among those left behind, the threat of work overload and an upset work/life balance.
This is on top of a media environment where public service is being rapidly devalued; raising issues of esteem among those whose career choice is to serve their community.
Mental illness is already the number one cause for disability claims in the workplace.