Addressing mental health at work should be as commonplace as prioritizing physical health and safety on the job, said the president and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
“Every week in Canada, 500,000 people miss work due to a mental health problem or illness,” Louise Bradley said in a statement during last Tuesday’s celebration of World Mental Health Day.
“Given that two-thirds of adults in Canada spend 60 per cent of their waking hours at work, the workplace is an ideal venue to advance this crucial conversation,” said Bradley.
Canada has been gaining reputation as a global leader in addressing mental health issues in the workplace.
Firms worldwide are consulting the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Standard is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources that is reshaping how employers approach safeguarding the psychological health of their employees.
An international review of workplace mental health guidelines, the Standard scored highest for quality and comprehensiveness, ahead of the 20 other guidelines reviewed. The comparison was published in the Preventive Medicine journal.
But while employers have the responsibility to create psychologically healthy workplaces, employees should also learn about mental health and wellness, Bradley said.
This ranges from engaging in prevention to understanding the signs and symptoms of a mental health problem.
The commission, in tandem with Ottawa Public Health, has created videos based on the 13 factors that affect the psychological health and safety of workers.
These 13 factors are:
- Organizational Culture
- Psychological and Social Support
- Clear Leadership & Expectations
- Civility & Respect
- Psychological Demands
- Growth & Development
- Recognition & Reward
- Involvement & Influence
- Workload Management
- Psychological Protection
- Protection of Physical Safety
“We encourage everyone to view these videos,” Bradley said.
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