Mental wellness in the workplace – a glossary

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines a psychologically healthy workplace as one that focuses health and well-being as well as enhancing performance. The essential component of a psychologically health workplace includes communication, work-life balance, employee involvement, health and safety, employee recognition, employee growth and development, employee well-being, and organization functioning. 
-American Psychological Association

There is no health without mental health.

Mental health is a state of well-being where a person:

  • Understands their own abilities 
  • Can cope with the normal stresses of life 
  • Can work productively and fruitfully, and 
  • Is able to contribute to their own community. 

Any of us can have anxiety or depression or other mental health diagnosis, affecting the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interacting with the world around us. 

  • Mental health as a secondary diagnosis

    "Some people may experience symptoms of depression after being diagnosed with a medical illness," according to an article from the National Institute for Mental Health. It's these secondary diagnoses of mental health concerns that can limit an individual's ability to return to health, work and life. 

  • The cost of depression and anxiety

    Globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity. See more from the World Health Organization.

People with Cancer need Mental Health Support

By Sheila Weiss, AVP, Group Claims and Clinical Service, Sun Life

As an RN and disability claims leader, I can tell you: People with cancer need mental health support.


Clinically, I often share that a cancer diagnosis raises anxiety and can often result in depression. That is a fact, and yet it doesn’t fully communicate what living with cancer is like. As a leader of a disability clinical claim organization, I hear from our case managers that cancer patients routinely share how jarring it is to be diagnosed.


People with cancer have their lives change fast as they swap work time for treatment consultations, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, trips to the pharmacy, and more. While they manage their treatments, which often come with unpleasant side effects, they become tired and stressed, and can struggle to keep the steady stream of “what if” scenarios in check.


October is breast cancer awareness month. 

Both and the CDC agree that breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the U.S., behind some kinds of skin cancer, representing 1 in 3 of all new female cancers each year.


We see this statistic played out similarly among individuals who need to step away from work due to cancer. In 2022, breast cancer represented 19% of Sun Life Short Term Disability cancer claims – the highest of all cancer types. 


See the full article

  • In a study published by the JAMA Network Open, alcohol consumption among adults increased by 14% from 2019 to 2020. Women, in particular, exhibited a 41% increase in alcohol consumption over a 2019 baseline.

This content is not to be considered legal advice. We recommend that Clients speak with legal counsel as necessary.

Group insurance policies are underwritten by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA) in all states except New York. In New York, group insurance policies are underwritten by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, MI).

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#1258004769 11/23 (Exp 11/25)