Labour ministers have annual meeting

Importance of psychological health and safety awareness major theme

Federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for labour have agreed to raise awareness of psychological health and safety issues and promote initiatives to address these issues in workers.

The discussion highlighted links between job creation, economic development, and safe and healthy workplaces. The impact of psychological wellness on workers, businesses, and the economy is profound, the ministers agreed. Preventing injuries and illness – including mental health ones – is critical to the health and economic success of Canadians.

The ministers see governments as playing a significant role in awareness through research, education, and knowledge transfer. They see their role as significant in advancing dialogue on the mental health and safety of workplaces within their jurisdictions.

With an aim to reduce stigmas related to mental health, the ministers are seeking to engage workplace parties on awareness initiatives. The ministers agreed to encourage promote as best practice the Voluntary National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and continue to share information across jurisdictions.

Other shared issues were covered including focus on youth – how to better protect and connect to young people in the workplace was an area of interest. The competitiveness of Canada’s labour market makes entry to the workplace especially challenging for young workers, the ministers said. Continued collaboration between industries, training partners, governments, and employers is important for providing safe workplaces and meaningful employment to future generations.

Federal minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women Dr. K. Kellie Leitch and Minister of Labour and Advanced Education for Nova Scotia Kelly Regan co-hosted the annual event on Sept. 5 in Halifax. The meeting is a key forum for discussions of public policies and ideas on how to create opportunities for cooperation on joint projects and labour initiatives.

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