National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
A social and economic challenge
The workplace can be a strong contributor to mental wellbeing, but in some cases it may contribute to the rise of mental health problems and illnesses in Canada. In any given year, one in five Canadians experiences a mental health problem or illness, with a cost to the economy estimated to be more than $50 billion annually. Among the other economic considerations for employers:
- Mental health problems and illnesses are the number one cause of disability in Canada;
- 10% and 25% of mental disability costs directly incurred by many employers could be avoided;
- If unaddressed, the impact of mental health problems on lost productivity will cost Canadian businesses $198 billion over the next 30 years.
A solution for every employer
To help employers create and maintain healthier workplaces, the MHCC and its partners have released the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
A world first and entirely voluntary, the National Standard helps employers of all sizes, and in all sectors, promote good mental health and prevent psychological harm for every employee. It does this by providing the guidelines, resources and tools needed to build a mentally healthy workplace.
Launch of the Standard
The MHCC launched the National Standard at a press conference in Toronto in January 2013. Business, labour and government stood as one behind the National Standard and issued a call to action to employers across the country. The event received widespread media coverage, and more than a dozen partners, funders and corporations issued their own supporting press releases.
Watch videos from the launch
- Summary of the National Standard Launch
- David Goldbloom, MHCC Chair
- Louise Bradley, MHCC President and Chief Executive Officer
- The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Government of Canada Federal Minister of Labour
- Michael Nixon, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President
- Ken Georgetti, Canadian Labour Congress President
- George Cope, BCE and Bell Canada President and CEO
Implementing the National Standard
Businesses and organizations have a corporate and social responsibility to ensure that the mental health of their employees is protected. Implementing the National Standard in the workplace can help fulfil these responsibilities, while at the same helping to improve:
- Productivity and financial performance
- Risk management
- Organizational Recruitment
The free resources available at the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace can help organizations implement the National Standard. The Centre also provides employers with other free resources including information, strategies, tools and initiatives, as well as support for research aimed at improving workplace mental health.
The MHCC is committed to advancing workplace mental health, and that includes championing the National Standard. Among its activities promoting the National Standard in the coming months, the MHCC is:
- Conducting case studies of organizations that have implemented the National Standard
- Sharing stories of adopters
- Hosting regular webinars about the Standard so people can ask questions
- Supporting organizations that are interested in using the Standard
- Profiling organizations that are adopting the Standard
Want to do more?
Here are some other resources that can help you improve the mental health of your workplace.
Take part in a Case Study Research Project:
Download the MHCC’s Action Guide for Employers, which provides guidelines that encourage executive leadership to commit to making mental health in their workplace a priority.
Train employees in Mental Health First Aid so they can recognize emerging mental health problems or crises in themselves and their colleagues, and provide initial help.
Take advantage of the free and comprehensive set of resources offered by Guarding Minds at Work to help protect and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace.
Learn about additional solutions for employers and supports for employees offered by Mental Health Works, a national program of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Join Partners for Mental Health in taking the pledge to support the improvement of mental health for all Canadians.
Review a set of executive leadership guidelines that encourage CEOs and other senior leaders to make a decisive commitment to mental health in the workplace.