Ottawa, ON – The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is honoured to receive Excellence Canada's 2014 Gold Award for Mental Health at Work®.  The award recognizes the MHCC’s leadership in promoting workplace mental health through the championing and implementation of The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard).

Developed by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) and the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ), and championed by the MHCC, the National Standard is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools, and resources focused on promoting employees’ psychological health and preventing psychological harm due to workplace factors.

“Any roadmap towards a brighter future for mental health must acknowledge the crucial role the workplace has to play,” said Louise Bradley, the MHCC’s President and CEO. “As the Commission is promoting the Standard nationally, and around the world, it is all the more gratifying to be recognized by Excellence Canada for our work to make the mental wellness of our own employees a top priority.”

Mental health issues have a growing impact on the workplace. In any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians will be absent from work due to mental health issues, and more than 70 per cent of workplace disability costs are attributable to mental illness. Every year, the Canadian economy suffers loses in the neighbourhood of $51 billion due to mental health problems and mental illnesses.

The National Standard is a document that outlines a systematic approach to develop and sustain a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. It focuses on mental illness prevention and mental health promotion. This voluntary National Standard takes a tools not rules approach and is intended for everyone, whether or not they live with a mental health problem or mental illness and includes information on:

  • The identification of psychological hazards in the workplace
  • The assessment and control of the risks in the workplace associated with hazards that cannot be eliminated (e.g. stressors due to organizational change or reasonable job demands)
  • The implementation of practices that support and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace
  • The growth of a culture that promotes psychological health and safety in the workplace, and
  • The implementation of systems of measurement and review to ensure sustainability of the overall approach.

The National Standard provides information to help organizations implement key components, including scenarios for organizations of all sizes, an audit tool, and other resources and references.

"We are very pleased to share this year’s award with Bell Canada for their outstanding Bell Let's Talk program,” added Ms. Bradley. “Bell’s leadership is this area has provided a much need boost to raising awareness of mental illness and fighting the associated stigma."

The Canada Awards for Excellence program recognizes outstanding achievements by organizations across a range of categories focused on quality, innovation, health, and wellness. The MHCC will be presented with the award on October 30 as part of Excellence Canada's annual awards ceremony in Toronto. For more information, please visit View the MHCC award video.


Guided by Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health – at homework, and school, as well as with the media and healthcare providers – from coast to coast to coast. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the Commission is Canada’s coordinating agent, bringing together the best and most influential minds in the mental health community. The MHCC is collaborating with hundreds of partners towards a mental health system that is inclusive, adaptable, and supports Canadians living with mental health problems and mental illnesses in their recovery journey. Together we accelerate the change needed to transform the nation’s mental health system and the wellbeing of all.

Media Contact:
Patti Robson, Director of Public Affairs
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: 613-683- 3742
Mobile: 613-282-1573

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The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.