From the Editor
Mindfulness programs, apps for sleep, resilience training. More and more corporations are offering these types of wellness interventions. Indeed, employee mental health services have become a billion-dollar industry. As reporter Ellen Barry recently observed in The New York Times: “These programs are a point of pride for forward-thinking human resource departments, evidence that employers care about their workers.” But are employees actually feeling better?
In a new paper for Industrial Relations Journal, William J. Fleming (of the University of Oxford) used survey data involving more than 46 000 British employees from 233 organizations, and considered several well-being efforts – including, yes, mindfulness programs, apps for sleep, and resilience training. He looked at several subjective well-being indicators. “Results suggest interventions are not providing additional or appropriate resources in response to job demands.” We look at the study and its implications.
In the second selection, Marcus V. Ortega (of Harvard University) and his co-authors look at physician burnout over time, drawing on US survey data for JAMA Network Open. With the pandemic, not unexpectedly, they found that physicians reported more burnout. “Findings of this survey study suggest that the physician burnout rate in the US is increasing.”
And in the third selection, author Trina Moyles writes about her brother and his suicide in a deeply personal essay for The Globe and Mail. She discusses her grief, the reaction of others, and her attempts at finding closure. She argues that we need to speak more openly about this topic. “Suicide: The word fires like a gunshot, so I’ve found myself whispering it.”