Mental health in the workplace

Why workplace mental health matters

Mental health is an issue that impacts every workplace in Canada. The workplace can contribute positively or negatively to a person’s mental health.

Employers and employees both benefit from a psychologically healthy workplace:

  • Better employee
    • engagement
    • morale
    • satisfaction
    • retention and recruitment
    • productivity
  • Reduces
    • absenteeism
    • grievances
    • health costs
    • medical leave/disability
    • workplace injuries

What can employers do to help?

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.

Top 8 practices

  1. Encourage employee participation and decision-making
  2. Clearly 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

Employers should assess their workplace for hazards, whether physical or psychological, then develop a plan to address and mitigate those hazards. Learn more about the hazard prevention program.

As with other health and safety issues, employers must always work with their policy health and safety committee, workplace health and safety committee or health and safety representative when developing policies or programs that address mental health in the workplace.

Employer tools for preventing and addressing workplace mental health issues

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed Healthy Minds@Work, 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

Worker’s compensation boards:

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