It’s National Mental Health Awareness Month. What’s your workplace doing?

Did you know?

  • 70% of disability costs are attributed to mental illness 
  • 500,000 Canadians, in any given week, are unable to work due to mental health problems
  • 1 in 3 workplace disability claims are related to mental illness
  • $51 billion is attributed to mental health in the Canadian economy annually, $20 billion of which the workplace owns

A quick review of the above stats tells you why mental health has become a workplace issue and is a good case for choosing to allocate some of your organization’s resources towards mental health initiatives. If 70% of Canadian employees are concerned about the psychological health and safety of their workplace, where do we even begin to address this?

We have received assistance through the federal government, as they have recognized and focused on the issue of mental health in the workplace. In 2013, the Mental Health Commission of Canada was launched and their mandate has been extended into 2017. One of the items they championed was the National Standards of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (Standard)—a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources focused on promoting employees’ psychological health and preventing psychological harm due to workplace factors. If you are an advocate of psychologically healthy workplaces or have been mandated to use this portfolio in your workplace, some of the work has already been provided for you through this material.

While we are aware of and compliant with our health & safety laws, as they pertain to physical safety in the workplace, we need to ensure the addition of psychological safety. Although not legislated, the Standard is quickly becoming recognized as a “best practice.” Your organization and employees will benefit from improved productivity, attendance, and morale, and an increased understanding of psychological health and resulting illness when it’s not properly managed.

What’s in the Standard?

  • How to get buy-in from management
  • Guidelines on doing a risk assessment customized to your particular workplace
  • Implementing preventative and protective measures
  • Continuous improvement plan to ensure ongoing compliance and changes as needed

Click here to download your free copy of the “National Standards of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (Standard).

For more information, please contact your Benefits Consultant or the author of this article, Kelly Alarie, Principal Consultant & Manager at 1-888-509-7797.