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Hans Selye Foundation Targets 2009 Stress Casualties

  • Published: 2009-04-30 - Contact: Hans Selye Foundation
  • Synopsis: Workplaces are reporting soaring 2009 stress casualties exactly as boiled over from the recessions of 1982 and 1992.

Main Document

As post-Katrina results clearly signal, even if today's economic climate quickly turns around, the past six months' work life traumas will likely feed a multi-year pipeline of disabilities. And, as historical data forecast, company balance sheets will also be hit by turnover of key talent plus jittery employees going through the motions.

Hans Selye Foundation Targets 2009 Stress Casualties: A Science-based Agenda for Coaches and Trainers

Workplaces are reporting soaring 2009 stress casualties, exactly as boiled over from the recessions of 1982 and 1992.

Ongoing research by the Hans Selye Foundation, triggered by this series of economic traumas, pinpoints critical insights into (i) the stress of radical work-life change, and (ii) what works (and doesn't work) to reduce casualty risk factors. The Foundation's May 26 webinar, "Resilience in Hyper-change", will launch a science-based agenda of interventions for workplace coaches and trainers.

Traumatic trends: "The radical changes we're now seeing in workplace stress casualties clearly call for much better targeted, quicker solutions" said Dr. Richard Earle, Ph.D., a director at the Toronto-based Hans Selye Foundation. He added, "Understanding these trends in corporate vital signs, was a priority for our founder, Dr. Hans Selye, internationally acknowledged as the father of the stress field".

The radical changes we're now seeing in workplace stress casualties clearly call for much better targeted, quicker solutions.

Understanding these trends in corporate vital signs, was a priority for our founder, Dr. Hans Selye, internationally acknowledged as the father of the stress field.

What lessons can we take from these past economic storms, for people, professionals and companies alike, that will prepare us to better survive future shocks

In sharp contrast to 2008, the following statistics for the first quarter of 2009 highlight pressing challenges not only for coaching / counseling professionals, but also for those now called on to develop workplace preventive strategies:

Depressive disorders 31% increase

Generalized anxiety disorders 23% increase

Insomnias 29% increase

Marital & parenting challenges 19% increase

Neuropathic pain 16% increase

As post-Katrina results clearly signal, even if today's economic climate quickly turns around, the past six months' work life traumas will likely feed a multi-year pipeline of disabilities. And, as historical data forecast, company balance sheets will also be hit by turnover of key talent plus jittery employees going through the motions ("presenteeism").

Science-based agenda for action: While no one could have precisely predicted 2009's wrenching economic impacts, in 1996 the Selye Foundation did launch an R&D program to prepare an evidence-based response to it. In a May 26, 2009 webinar, the Foundation will launch its "Resilience in Hyper-change" strategy for treatment and prevention, focusing on the workplace.

Background - Science travels back-to-the-future: Challenged by the chronic stress impacts of North America's two previous recessions (early 80's, repeated again in the early 90's) and by Japan's economic "bubble" collapse, the Hitachi Company convened an international stress symposium in Tokyo (December, 1996). The focus was: "What lessons can we take from these past economic storms, for people, professionals and companies alike, that will prepare us to better survive future shocks". That future is happening now.

The Tokyo-Toronto connection

In his symposium keynote address, Dr. Earle, collaborating with Dr. Naoharu Fujii and Professor Takashi Sato from the Tokyo Stress Research Foundation, announced their commitment to a 1997-2007 landmark study, designed ...

1. To learn the historical lessons of 1982 to 1994, documenting the stressful impacts that workplace restructuring imprinted on employees' health and performance (impacts now known as "the stress six") in both Japan and Canada;

2. To compare the cost-effectiveness of several brief coaching and training protocols for restoring productive wellbeing amongst both workplace stress casualties, and the walking wounded; and

3. To bring these practice-focused insights to today's counselors and trainers, ensuring timely relevance to today's hyper-change realities, via (a) webinars and related publications, plus (b) the Hans Selye Foundation's distance education 2009 / 2010 curriculum for Certified Stress & Wellness Consultants, summarized at www.stresscanada.org/cswbrief.html

Learn more

We invite you to learn more about (a) the integrative science underpinning the Tokyo-Toronto strategy; (b) its results in measures of disability days, key-talent turnover, work stress and team problem solving; as well as (c) its action-focused implications for workplace coaching and training in North America. Request highlights of the Selye Foundation's agenda for coaches and trainers by e-mail to Dr. Earle at his Contact address below. Mark "Hyper-change Agenda" in the Subject line of your e-mail.

We gratefully acknowledge sponsorship by the Japan Public Health Research Foundation for publication of Phase 1 study updates (June, 2000) at the International Symposium on Stress Research, Waseda University, Tokyo.

Reference: The Hans Selye Foundation (HSF) was created in 1975 by Drs. Pauling, Salk, Toffler and international colleagues in recognition of Dr. Selye's role as "the father of the stress field". HSF focuses on research & development, clinical and preventive applications as well as international academic, clinical and research partnerships. The Canadian Institute of Stress (CIS), founded in 1979 by Drs. Hans Selye and Richard Earle, offers programs, consultation and tools for workplaces and individuals, as well as certification training and distance education for professionals.







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