Wellness at Work

Participants of the internationally-lauded Case Study Research Project gathered in Toronto on May 3 for a face-to-face meeting. They discussed challenges and gleaned insights on the progress of this ground-breaking initiative, which promotes the mental health of Canadian workers.

Launched in February 2014, the three-year study examines how more than 40 organizations across the country are implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard), a voluntary set of tools and resources aimed at improving psychological health, and preventing harm due to workplace factors.

“We were convinced that addressing mental health in the workplace would revolutionize the well-being of Canadians,” says Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). “By documenting the journey of these organizations, the proof is in the pudding.”

To date, more than 120 events and 10 publications have been dedicated to the Case Study Research Project and its collective learnings. The commitment and input from participating organizations have helped the MHCC develop free, employer-friendly resources including videos, guidebooks, sector-specific outreach strategies and communities of practice.

“By demonstrating the efficacy of the Standard, the Case Study project is having an impact around the world — quite literally,” says Ed Mantler, MHCC Vice President of Programs and Priorities. “We’re seeing international adaptations of the Standard in Europe and Australia, and here at home it is inspiring action from coast to coast.”

At the Toronto meeting, participants, researchers, panelists and members of the steering committee (which guides and oversees the project) shared success stories and exchanged feedback on key tools.  Prominent attendees included the Hon. Kevin Flynn, Ontario Minister of Labour, who commended participants for their leadership.

“As we move forward, the future for mental health in Canada looks bright,” says Bradley. “Not only does 2017 mark the MHCC’s 10-year anniversary, it is also the year that our case study findings will be released. We look forward to celebrating these significant milestones, however our progress doesn’t end here.” 

A follow-up study was announced at the face-to-face meeting, which will measure factors that assist organizations to sustain their implementation and ongoing engagement efforts.

Early findings from the Case Study Research Project confirm that the Standard can be implemented in all types of Canadian workplaces and that organizations are reaping benefits from championing the Standard in their workplace.

This project is jointly funded through a public-private partnership between the MHCC, Employment and Social Development Canada – Disability Component, Lundbeck Canada and the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace.