Mental health in the workplace

A psychologically healthy workplace is a respectful and productive environment that makes every reasonable effort to promote and protect the mental health of employees.

Employers are responsible for protecting the health and safety of employees

  • 30% of disability claims are related to mental health problems and mental illnessFootnote 1
  • 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health problem or mental illness each yearFootnote 2
  • $50 billion per year is the total cost of mental health problems and mental illnesses in CanadaFootnote 3

Top 8 practices—What can you do to help

  1. Support employee participation and decision-making
  2. Define employees' duties and responsibilities
  3. Promote work-life balance
  4. Encourage and model respectful behaviours
  5. Manage workloads
  6. Provide training and learning opportunities
  7. Have conflict resolution practices in place
  8. Recognize employees' contributions effectively

Benefits of a psychologically healthy workplace

As an employer, there are many ways in which you can help create a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. Building a supportive work environment that promotes mental well-being has benefits for everyone and keeps your workforce strong and competitive.

  • engagement
  • morale
  • satisfaction
  • retention and recruitment
  • productivity


  • absenteeism
  • grievances
  • health costs
  • medical leave/disability
  • workplace injuries

For more information:

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Preventing and addressing workplace mental health issues

Updating or creating a hazard prevention program

As an employer, you should assess your workplace for hazards, whether physical or psychological. Then, you should develop a plan to address and mitigate those hazards. Learn more about the hazard prevention program.

As with other health and safety issues, you must always work with one of the following when developing policies or programs that address mental health in the workplace:

  • your policy health and safety committee
  • your workplace health and safety committee, or
  • your health and safety representative

Resources and tools to support mental health in the workplace

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed Healthy Minds@Work. This is a hub of tools and resources to support workplace parties in their efforts to address psychological health and safety in the workplace.

Other tools and resources are also available:

Mental health in provincial and territorial jurisdictions

Provincial Workers’ Compensation Boards in Canada

Related links

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