Canadian employers have a new tool to protect the mental health of employees with the launch of Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers.
The free guide provides a series of steps and 24 actions accessible to all employers regardless of size, sector or location. It was created by the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., with support from the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s workforce advisory committee.
"The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and our partners, who are working to promote mental health in Canada, recognize the critical role our workplaces play in the psychological health of Canadians," said Louise Bradley, MHCC president and CEO. "The Action Guide offers immediate actions that employers can take to enhance the positive role that the workplace has in recovery and prevention."
Mental health problems are the leading cause of both short- and long‐term disabilities in Canada, with the economic cost estimated to be $51 billion, including almost $20 billion from workplace losses, said the MHCC.
"Employers are increasingly identifying the need to promote psychologically healthy and safe workplaces but are asking, 'What can be done?' The Action Guide is based on the latest scientific evidence and professional practices. It provides employers with logical implementation steps and recommendations that are practical, accessible and actionable," said Dan Bilsker, co-author of the guide and a psychologist who consults to SFU’s Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction.
The guide is mainly intended for employers and HR personnel considering programs and policies to improve psychological health at their organization. It is also relevant to front-line managers, union leaders, occupational health-care providers, and legal and regulatory professionals.
The guide will also inform the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, a voluntary standard for workplace mental health to be released later this year by the MHCC in collaboration with the Bureau de normalisation du Québec and the CSA Standards. It can be found at www.mentalhealthcommission.ca.
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