Work Health and WellbeingDeterminants of Health
The Work, Health and Wellbeing program aspires to a vision of healthy and sustainable work for all. We seek to advance the scientific and public understanding of work as a social determinant of health, and to help shape policy and practice to better protect people from the harmful effects of work, while fostering its health-promoting qualities. We believe that everyone deserves — at a minimum — to have their dignity, health and wellbeing protected at work, and ideally that work would also promote these qualities.
Healthy work promotes physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing and in turn the health and wellbeing of families, communities and societies.
Healthy workers are also more productive and yet, poor working conditions continue to be a major contributor to illness and injury burdens, as well as to health inequalities in Australia and around the world.
Our main research areas are:
- Social epidemiology
- Intervention development, implementation, and evaluation
- Mental health
- Health equity
- Occupational health & safety
- Health promotion
- Psychosocial working conditions, or job stressors
Who We Work With
WHW collaborates widely both within Australia and internationally. Examples include:
University of Melbourne
- King et al (2023): Precarious work and the COVID-19 pandemic: the need for a gender equality lens. BMJ
- King et al (2023): Suicide in the Australian mining industry: assessment of rates using 19 years of coronial data. Safety & Health at Work
Blackdog Institute & University of New South Wales
- Gayed et al (2021): Can an online mental health training program improve physician supervisors’ behaviour towards trainees? Intern Med J
- Gayed et al (2019): A comparison of face-to-face and online training in improving managers’ confidence to support the mental health of workers, Internet Interv
Stockholm University, Sweden
- Blomqvist et al (2022): Perceived job insecurity and risk of suicide and suicide attempts: a study of men and women in the Swedish working population, Scand J Work Environ Health
- Blomqvist S, Robin SH, Virtanen M, LaMontagne AD, Hanson LM (June 2023) Job loss and job instability during the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of depression and anxiety among Swedish employees, SSM
Danish National Research Institute on the Work Environment
- Török et al (2020): Physical workload, long-term sickness absence, and the role of social capital. Multi-level analysis of a large occupation cohort, Scand J Work Environ Health
Research Partners: Government, NGOs, Industry
WHW regularly partners with policymakers, practitioners, and other non-researchers in government, industry, and elsewhere. For examples:
MATES in Construction. https://mates.org.au/
- Interview with MATES CEO Chris Lockwood and Prof Tony LaMontagne about the long-term MATES-DEAKIN partnership (September 2023).
- Currently partnering on a cluster-randomised trial evaluating the effectiveness of MATES in Manufacturing BMC Psychiatry
- King et al (2023): A blended face-to-face and smartphone intervention to improve suicide prevention literacy and help-seeking intentions among construction workers: a randomised controlled trial, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
- Maheen et al (2022 November 23): Suicide trends among Australian construction workers during years 2001-2019. Scientific Reports
- World Health Organisation (WHO): participation as a subject matter expert in the Guideline Development Group for the 2022 WHO Guidelines on Mental Health at Work
Who Uses Our Research
WHW research has been adapted into and/or cited in various policies, practice guidelines, and other resources. For examples:
Prof LaMontagne’s ‘integrated approach to workplace mental health’ has been applied in:
- The (Australian) National Mental Health Commission’s National Workplace Initiative
- Beyond Blue’s 2020 Good Practice Framework for Mental Health & Wellbeing in Police & Emergency Services Organisations
- WorkSafe Victoria’s 2017-2022 WorkWell program: a five-year $50 million Mental Health Improvement Fund focusing on workplace mental health in Victoria.
Australian Senate Select Committee on Job Security’s 2022 Report of the Australian Senate Select Committee on Job Security
Victorian Health Promotion Foundation’s RE-IMAGINING LIFE & HEALTH PANEL DISCUSSION SERIES:
- ‘RE-IMAGINING WORK POST-COVID’ panel discussion hosted by ABC Radio’s Virginia Trioli, 17 June 2020.
- Discussion paper: Getting Back to Work: How can we reshape work to benefit everyone?
Professor Tony LaMontagne — Unit Head
Blomqvist S, Robin SH, Virtanen M, LaMontagne AD, Hanson LM (June 2023) Job loss and job instability during the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of depression and anxiety among Swedish employees. SSM – Population Health 22 (101429) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmph.2023.101424a
King T, Maheen H, Taouk Y, LaMontagne AD (2023 March 6): Suicide in the Australian mining industry: assessment of rates using 19 years of Coronial data. Safety & Health at Work. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shaw.2023.03.003
King T, Alfonzo LF, Batterham P, Mackinnon A, Lockwood C, Harvey S, Kelly B, Lingard H, Cox L, LaMontagne AD (2023 February 9): A blended face-to-face and smartphone intervention to improve suicide prevention literacy and help-seeking intentions among construction workers: a randomised controlled trial. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. doi: 10.1007/s00127-023-02429-9
King T, Maheen H, Taouk Y, LaMontagne AD (2023 January 30): Precarious work and the COVID-19 pandemic: the need for a gender equality lens, BMJ 380: e072872. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-072872
LaMontagne AD, Cox LL, Lockwood C, Mackinnon A,5, Hall N, Brimelow R, Le L, Mihalopoulos C, King T (2022 December 19): Evaluation of a workplace suicide prevention program in the Australian manufacturing industry: protocol for a cluster-randomised trial of MATES in manufacturing. BMC Psychiatry 22(1):79 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04464-3. Open access https://rdcu.be/c1Vmf
Maheen H, Taouk Y, LaMontagne AD, King T (2022 November 23): Suicide trends among Australian construction workers during years 2001-2019. Scientific Reports. Open access at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-24575-x.pdf
Taouk Y, King T, Ride J, LaMontagne AD (2022 July 8): COVID-19: An opportunity to combat the burden of poor mental health in Australian workplaces. The Lancet Regional Health Western Pacific https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2022.100537
Åberg M, Staats E, Robertson J, Schiöler L, Torén K, LaMontagne AD, Söderberg M, Waern M, Nyberg J (2022): Psychosocial job stressors and risk of suicidal behaviour– an observational study among Swedish men, Scandinavian J Work Environment & Health 48(6):435-445. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.4039
Blomqvist S, Virtanen M, LaMontagne AD, Magnusson Hanson LL (2022): Perceived job insecurity and risk of suicide and suicide attempts: a study of men and women in the Swedish working population, Scand J Work Environ Health 48(4):293-301 doi:10.5271/sjweh.4015.
Gayed A, Kugenthiran N, LaMontagne AD, Christensen H, Glozier N, Harvey SB (2021): Can an online mental health training program improve physician supervisors’ behaviour towards trainees? Intern Med J, doi: 10.1111/imj.15207. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/imj.15207
King TL, LaMontagne AD (2021): COVID-19 and suicide risk in the construction sector: preparing for a perfect storm, Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 49(7):774-778. https://doi.org/10.1177/1403494821993707
LaMontagne AD, Too LS, Punnett L, Milner AJ (2021): Changes in job security and mental health: an analysis of 14 annual waves of an Australian working-population panel survey, American J Epidemiology; 190 (2):207–215, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa038 with accompanying
Sarah Burgard, Invited Commentary: linking job security and mental health—challenges and future directions, American J Epidemiology, Volume 190, Issue 2, February 2021, Pages 216–219, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa039