AS@W Antidepressant Skills at Work: Dealing with Mood Problems in the Workplace

AS@W...for Businesses and Organizations

Why should businesses and organizations be concerned with mental health issues?

Informed organizations are increasingly becoming aware of the personal and productivity costs of mental ill health, and the associated importance of fostering and maintaining the mental health of their employees. They recognize that most work involves skills such as concentration, problem-solving and planning, and that these are often the very areas that are compromised when an employee is experiencing low mood or depression. They therefore recognize the need to attend to early signs of an emerging mental health condition by equipping managers and employees with timely and effective knowledge, resources and tools. AS@W is intended to be a key component in a comprehensive approach. While the primary goal of such efforts is to assist employees with low mood or depression, an additional benefit is the provision of a clear message to current and prospective employees that the company cares about their well-being. This, in turn, serves to attract new recruits and retain existing staff, thus sustaining the vitality and productivity of the organization and being consistent with core business values and objectives.


Who would find AS@W of value?

There are a number of individuals within an organization who may benefit from the availability of AS@W:


How can businesses and organizations use AS@W?

Key considerations for businesses and organizations

Further Reading

Bilsker, D., Gilbert, M., Myette, L., Stewart-Patterson, Chris. (2004). Depression and work function: Bridging the gap between mental health and the workplace. Vancouver, BC: Mental Health Evaluation and Community Consultation Unit. Available at:

Canadian Centre for Management Development. (2002). A fine balance: A manager’s guide to workplace well-being. Ottawa, Ontario: Canada School of Public Service.
Available at:

Sanderson, K., & Anderson, G. (2006). Common mental disorders in the workforce: Recent findings from descriptive social epidemiology. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51(2), 63-75.


About AS@W

How was Antidepressant Skills at Work developed?

The guide was developed by British Columbia Mental Health and Addiction Services (BCMHAS), an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. The guide and accompanying materials have been authored by Dr. Dan Bilsker, Dr. Merv Gilbert, and Dr. Joti Samra – registered psychologists and scientist-practitioners with expertise in issues relating to workplace mental health. These psychologists are with the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA), Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University. The guide was written on the basis of a review of the scientific literature; consultation with employers, unions, mental health providers and employee groups; and adaptation of existing self-care depression programs.

How can the manual be accessed?

The manual is available for viewing and free download at or from Individuals or organizations are free to print and make multiple copies of the guide, with permission from CARMHA. Print copies and audio CDs are available at a low cost from our ordering page at

For further information about AS@W and associated resources and materials, please visit . This information will be updated on a regular basis.