Webinar to Explain New Canadian Psychological Health Standard

The CEO and the Workforce Advisory Committee chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) will discuss the new voluntary standard Jan. 29.

A free webinar is taking place Jan. 29 to help employers and safety or HR professionals find out about a new national standard for psychological health and safety in Canadian workplaces. The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the Bureau de normalisation du Québec, and CSA Group released the voluntary National Standard of Canada, "Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Prevention, promotion and guidance to staged implementation," on Jan. 16.

Mental Health Commission of Canada President and CEO Louise Bradley announced the voluntary standard on Jan. 16, 2013.According to MHCC, mental health problems and illnesses are among the top three drivers of both short-term and long-term disability, typically accounting for about 30 percent of those claims in Canada.

The presenters are MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley and MHCC Workforce Advisory Committee Chair Charles Bruce, who is CEO of the Nova Scotia Public Service Long Term Disability Plan Trust Fund. Their webinar will begin at noon Eastern time Jan. 29 and will be presented in English; a webinar in French is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern time Feb. 7.

"One in five Canadians experience a mental health problem or mental illness in any given year and many of the most at risk individuals are in their early working years. Canadians spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else," Bradley said when she announced the new standard during a news conference. "It's time to start thinking about mental well-being in the same way as we consider physical well-being, and the standard offers the framework needed to help make this happen in the workplace."

The standard explains how to develop and sustain a psychologically healthy and safe workplace, including:

  • The identification of psychological hazards in the workplace
  • Assessment and control of the risks in the workplace associated with hazards that cannot be eliminated (such as stressors due to organizational change or reasonable job demands)
  • 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
  • The implementation of measurement and review systems to ensure sustainability

"This voluntary national standard is the result of a collaborative effort between MHCC, BNQ, and CSA Group and is supported by scientific literature from many relevant areas of workplace health and safety, social science, and law. There is also a clear business case which supports the need for continual improvement of psychological health and safety in the workplace," said Bonnie Rose, president of standards with CSA Group. "Workplaces with a positive approach to psychological health and safety have improved employee engagement, enhanced productivity, and a better financial outlook."

To register for the English webinar, visit https://mhccevents.webex.com/mhccevents/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=665804074.

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