When I googled this question, I found 3,230,000 results… so the answer seems to be yes. It’s certainly something people are talking about. These numbers got me thinking. I’d like to address why this is, and how we can continue to promote a mentally healthy workplace.

First, let’s look at the reasons why people are talking about it. The Mental Health Commission of Canada states that “the total cost from mental health problems to the Canadian economy exceeds $50 billion annually”. The Commission went on to say that, in 2011, mental health problems and illnesses among working adults in Canada cost employers more than $6 billion in lost productivity. This alone is a great reason to be talking about mental health in the workplace.

The Commission found that “70 percent of Canadian employees are concerned about the psychological health and safety of their workplace, and 14 percent don’t think theirs is healthy or safe at all. Such workplaces can take a detrimental personal toll as well as contribute to staggering economic costs.”

Based on these facts, the Commission has taken a lead role in helping businesses respond to this issue. They have developed a number of exciting tools and resources that all workplaces should be familiar with and try to incorporate into their workplace.

They include:

The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard)

A voluntary set of guidelines, tools, and resources to guide organizations in promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work.

Supporting the implementation of the Standard – In all industries

Training tools

  • Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Canada helps employees and managers increase their awareness of the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems and know- how to help if a colleague begins to experience a mental health problem or crisis.
  • Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) is specifically designed for first responders to help reduce the stigma that often surrounds mental health problems and mental illness.
  • The Working Mind (TWM) is intended to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in a workplace setting, while increasing resiliency.
  • Being a Mindful Employee: An Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace is a free online course recommended for anyone interested in learning more about how you can contribute to positive mental health at work.

Free Monthly webinars on workplace mental health promotion                                                            

Learn more about the Commission’s monthly webinar series created specifically to discuss psychological health & safety in the workplace.