Occupational burnout is an all-too-common condition. Many Canadian employees are driven to prolonged stress leave with symptoms including emotional exhaustion, cynicism and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment.
It’s a national concern for workers and employers alike. According to Statistics Canada, 27 per cent of Canadian workers claim to experience extreme levels of stress daily. In 2019, the World Health Organization recognized occupational burnout as a legitimate syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
A team of researchers at Concordia University in Montreal is investigating how interventions in students can inform prevention strategies for workplace burnout. Among them are Andrew Ryder and Alexandra Panaccio, who are both members of Concordia’s interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research in Health (CCRH).
“We study many of the most common health problems faced in Canada – obesity, exercise, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and workplace stress,” says Ryder, a licensed clinical psychologist and associate chair of the department of psychology at Concordia.
He says that the advantage of the CCRH is that researchers from a wide array of disciplines are able to meet and work together. It’s a holistic approach to well-being that transcends traditional attitudes to health research.
“The idea of the [CCRH] is really to put the sufferer at the centre and focus on analysis from genes and neurobiology all the way up to societal and cultural context,” Ryder says. “The important thing at Concordia is reaching outside academic tracks.”