Mental Health and the Impacts of Job Loss

Mental Health and the Impacts of Job Loss

By Liz Bilton, VP Career Management

Throughout May, we’ve spent time thinking about how job loss impacts our clients and their mental health. The decision to terminate an individual is most often made when the individual is no longer a fit for the organization or the role they were hired for.

With career transition support, many individuals come to this realization and move forward quickly. Others require further support and guidance. In addition to the one-to-one coaching, they rely on various tools, including access to SelfHelpWorks™, an innovative suite of eight online cognitive learning programs designed to assist and empower individuals to make positive behaviour changes while remaining completely confidential.  

When it comes to a client’s mental health, we are considerate of meeting them where they are, recognizing that we are career consultants, not counsellors. Our role is to support the individual as they regain their confidence and seize this as an opportunity to pursue a new role. A role that excites them and is a fit with their values, strengths, and interests. 

In their article titled Work, Mental Health and Our Role as Career Practitioners, Michael Huston and Dave Redekopp drew some important conclusions related to an individual’s work and mental health, including the fact that person-work fit is related to an individual’s mental health and wellbeing. The outcomes of the study showed that work is not only important for financial reasons but also for the expression of an individual’s interests, values, and identity. It is a source of social support and is critical in supporting other life roles. When work supports meaningful outcomes in an individual’s personal life it supports their overall wellbeing and mental health.

The opposite holds true if the work does not fit with their interests, values, strengths, and needs, and may hinder their success in those other life roles. The conclusion is that career development can directly increase one’s ability to find and develop a career path that matches their values, strengths, and interests, ultimately contributing to an individual’s overall mental wellness.

The importance of an employee’s mental health and impacts job loss can have on an individual reinforces the importance of having meaningful, well-planned and executed career development conversations on an ongoing basis. Creating the space for career conversations in your organization, will ensure the work your employees are doing is a fit for the organization, is aligned with their needs and career goals and is a proactive approach to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the organization’s people.

Additional resources:

The role of career development in supporting mental health: 7 resources to check out