Category: Mental Health

Feel Like an Impostor? Maybe You’re Just an Outlier …

August 22, 2020
Much has been written about the Impostor Syndrome but people who are outliers because of a quality that is peripheral to their skills and abilities (e.g., their gender, race, ethnicity,...

Underemployment: Is it ever a good thing?

July 11, 2020
Get ahead. Get promoted. Make more money. Aim higher. Clients often come to me to find out how to move ahead. It is rare that I counsel a client to...

Pandemic Positives – Silver Linings and Hidden Opportunities Due to ongoing COVID-19 Limbo

June 27, 2020
It’s almost Canada Day 2020. Who would have thought we’d still be in COVID-19 limbo after 100+ days? As I reflect on the ‘before times’ I am noticing a few...

Bouncing Back from the Pandemic

April 18, 2020
Even if haven’t been touched directly by the virus, your life has been changed in every way. What many of us are feeling is more than regular sadness and fear...

How Important is it for Your Boss to Like You?

March 28, 2020
Most of us crave attention and approval from our parents, teachers, friends - and bosses. It's hard when we think our boss hates us ... but does it matter?

Working through addiction… while at work

November 16, 2019
Approximately twenty-two percent of Canadians will meet the criteria for addiction during their lifetime. This means that most of us will work with someone dealing with addiction ... even if...

Failure to launch because of workplace obstacles or resistance? How to take off in your career.

October 19, 2019
The fact that planes take off against the wind is an interesting metaphor for so many events in life. Getting new jobs, starting major projects, or making any meaningful change...

Back to life, back to reality … when we return to work without a smile

September 21, 2019
Each day there are countless people who will return to work after taking some much-needed time off for a summer ‘staycation’ or holiday. For many adults, including teachers and parents,...

High Stake Situations – Why do some people stumble while others shine?

September 7, 2019
The 2019 US Open tennis finals have me thinking about high stake scenarios. The other night, my partner was talking about the upcoming rematch between Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu...

Golden handcuffs – when is it worth taking them off?

August 24, 2019
Sometimes a job is a poor fit, but we stay because of the value of the golden handcuffs - the pay, benefits, security, etc. In this article, Dr. Helen helps...

Are you a workaholic … or is your job just too demanding?

August 11, 2019
These days, many of us work a lot of hours. It can be hard to know if we're overworked or a workaholic. There's a difference and it can affect our...

Resilience – If You Don’t Think You Have It, You Can Get It

July 20, 2019
Obviously, I consider resilience to be an essential ingredient for career development, career management, and human resources (HR). My tagline ‘Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.” In this article, I define...

Summer burnout – what is it and how can it affect your job?

July 13, 2019
Summer … we all know to get the sunblock and hats out to shield us from the intense and dangerous rays. But, what about protecting ourselves from other, less obvious...

The Superwoman Syndrome, Even Harder than it Looks …

March 9, 2019
Recently, I was asked to speak at an International Women’s Day event that was being organized by Sigma Beta Phi Sorority (University of Ottawa). I was intrigued, I have not...

Returning to Work After an Absence is Common, So Why is it so Hard?

March 2, 2019
Intuitively, we all know that every single day someone is returning to the workforce after being at home. Regardless of what had them out of the workplace (e.g., maternity leave,...

Positivity is your best action … take it to work

November 11, 2018
As an HR Consultant, Career Coach, and parent I try hard to make the best out of challenging situations. With that said, I agree that some things are hard to...

Covering at Work – The Pros and Cons of Being Ourselves at Work

October 27, 2018
According to a report published by Deloitte, a surprisingly high number of people actively cover up aspects of their identities in the workplace that they believe are unwelcome and/or stigmatized.

Working Through the Fallout of Climate Change

September 29, 2018
From what I know about employee engagement and workplace culture, I understand that not treating your employees and co-workers well during delicate or challenging times will erode and undermine relationships...

How to Recover after Losing your Temper at Work

September 15, 2018
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what happens when we lose our temper at work. This is mostly because I’ve been watching the commentary about tennis players who lose their cool...

Have you ever called in “sad?”

August 11, 2018
Mental illness linked to workplace problems is a leading cause of short and long-term disability in Canada. Given the costs associated with these types of claims, I propose a different...

Leaving a Toxic Job

August 4, 2018
A job is so much more than just “a job.” Most of us spend most of our waking hours at work. In a good scenario, colleagues become friends as well,...

The right help at the right time: what are the differences between Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists and Life Coaches?

July 14, 2018
With all the attention focused on mental health issues and mental health in the workplace, I've noticed the growing popularity of Life Coaches, Psychotherapists, Psychiatrists, and Psychologists. What hasn't been...

Mental Health – Making it Work in the Workplace

May 26, 2018
Mental health is an issue that deserves more than four weeks of awareness. It warrants everyday sensitivity and acknowledgment in the places where we work. Without paying attention to this under-discussed...

Do’s and don’ts – how to be mindful of mental health in the workplace

May 19, 2018
Depression, anxiety, and other psychological difficulties afflict millions, and we must at least acknowledge that each and every day employees are walking into their workplaces silently suffering.

Phone Anxiety 101

April 14, 2018
These days, many people use their phones for everything except talking. There are a bunch of advantages associated with these versatile devices but there’s also a dark side: a significant...

How men AND women have enabled workplace bullying and sexual harassment

December 2, 2017
So, in the interest of gender equality, it’s time for men and women to consider doing more to create safe, respectful and inclusive organizations and organizational cultures. Men aren’t the...

Sexual harassment on the job … how it touches everyone in the workplace (Part 2)

October 28, 2017
As a female I/O Psychologist who deals with HR issues, including the fallout from sexual harassment, I believe it's important to tackle this matter head-on by discussing the financial consequences...

Sexual Harassment … how does it keep working in the workplace?

October 22, 2017
As with other loaded topics, like politics and religion, many people in the workplace prefer to say nothing despite the undeniably tense and divisive climate that many victims of sexual...

The marks of domestic violence in the workplace (Part 2)

September 16, 2017
I'm addressing the sensitive topic domestic violence here because I've been asked for advice about it by someone who works in an organization that has a Human Resources (HR) department...

Domestic violence doesn’t stay home … what you need to know about it in the workplace (Part 1)

September 9, 2017
Although the prevalence of domestic violence is well-documented, it isn’t something that is openly discussed, especially in formal or semi-formal settings such as your place of work. I had to...

Bullying, Bias, and Burnout. Why these 3 ‘B’s Could be Derailing your Career

August 26, 2017
Often the word derailment is associated with an accident, a slip off the track that could not be foreseen or prevented. It can also be career-related and dangerous in a...

Divorce … Does it Have to go to Work With You?

July 29, 2017
Divorce often negatively impacts people’s day-to-day functioning. As a result, not only do you suffer from short-term diminished work productivity, but the actual business/organization you work for will too. There's...

Workplace Boundaries … 5 steps to help you stay in your lane

June 24, 2017
I’d like to bridge the gap for those who have made these professional blunders around workplace boundaries and others who want to avoid making them. I know how easy it...

Seasonal Summer Burnout?

June 17, 2017
Dr. Helen Ofosu discusses burnout versus 'summer burnout' which is that sluggish feeling that we sometimes experience during the warmer months. Natural opportunity for resting and a career tune-up?

Impostor Syndrome … there’s nothing fake about how it makes you feel

May 20, 2017
At work, do you ever have the feeling that you don’t belong there? Do you suspect that you don’t deserve the position you’re in? If so, you’re not alone. You...

How Psychology Can Help Your Career — Q&A on I/O vs. Clinical Psychology (Part 2)

April 29, 2017
Looking for career help and want to know the difference between Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology and Clinical Psychology? Dr. James Brazeau, C.Psych explains.

How Psychology Can Help Your Career — Q&A on I/O vs. Clinical Psychology

April 22, 2017
Looking for career help and want to know the difference between Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology and Clinical Psychology? Dr. Helen explains.

How to Get Back to Work While Working Through a Death or Other Hard Events

April 12, 2017
There is no timeline for when a person’s mourning stops if it ever does. Unfortunately “bereavement leave” does have a beginning and an end. In most organizations, it’s approximately 3...

Job Interviews … 3 Ways to Attack Anxiety When it Wants to Attack You

March 7, 2017
If your nerves are getting the best of you during a job interview this blog post is for you. If you know someone who is smart, articulate, and confident …...

Changes: sometimes you don’t get to vote

January 13, 2017
We may feel insignificant and ruled by powers beyond our control, but we are much more resilient than that. Even when it’s that kid who feels intimidated by an unpleasant...

Silent Suffering – The Struggle of Invisible Disabilities

December 28, 2016
All your life you’ve been viewed as an ‘able-bodied’ person. So far you’ve been fortunate right? This may not be entirely accurate. Disability isn’t always visible; in fact, it can...

Calling in Sad (or Sick) to Avoid Workplace Problems?

December 8, 2015
Mental illness is a leading cause of short and long-term disability in Canada (and the US). Given the costs associated with these types of claims, I propose a different approach....

Workplace Bullying – A Hidden Problem

November 13, 2015
Bullying on the school yard has been deemed unacceptable. Many schools and school boards have implemented zero tolerance policies. It’s great that someone’s now looking out for the kids, but...

Are Nerves Ruining Your Job Interviews?

October 10, 2015
A while back I wrote about job interview techniques for nervous job candidates. While those approaches will work for most people who get nervous prior to job interviews or other...

Resilience and Careers – What’s the Big Deal?

October 22, 2014
So that we’re all on the same page, let’s start with a definition. The American Psychological Association defines resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity,...