Objective: There is limited occupational health industry data pertaining to 1) the prevalence of psychological distress in various employee subtypes and 2) risk factors for employee psychological distress.
Method: The employees of 58 large public and private sector employers were invited to complete the Kessler 6 (K6) as part of the Health and Performance at Work Questionnaire. A K6 score of > or =13 was chosen to indicate high psychological distress.
Results: Data on 60,556 full-time employees indicate that 4.5% of employees have high psychological distress of which only 22% were in current treatment. Occupational risk factors identified include long working hours, sales staff and non-traditional gender roles.
Conclusion: High psychological distress is pervasive across all employee subtypes and remains largely untreated. Risk factors identified will guide the targeting of mental health promotion, prevention and screening programs.