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Psychological Health and Safety at Work

July 30, 2019 Michelle NicholsHealth and Safety

When you hear the words “Psychological Health and Safety” do you feel overwhelmed?

If you were told to implement a Psychological Health and Safety program at your workplace would you know what to do?

There are ways to integrate mental harm prevention into your workplace that are manageable for the employer, all while creating a safe environment where employees feel comfortable.

If you aren't sure how to get started, you may begin by creating a team which includes members from all departments and levels across your organization. Your team can provide input and make suggestions on programs which they would like to see. Some ideas may include:

  • Promoting Mental Health Week and Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Having a Pink Shirt Day
  • Communicating via safety talks, email blasts, intranet messages, digital signage, newsletters, social media or any other special programming for employees
  • Providing workshops and information on anxiety, depression, substance abuse, work-life balance, support options or any other topics of interest/ relevance
  • Creating a sensitivity awareness resource guide to help leadership support employees who are dealing with general mental health concerns, dependency, domestic violence and suicide
  • Training managers and employees on how to talk about mental health, recognize signs that an employee may be struggling, and provide resources. Provide Mental Health First Aid training
  • Offering an EAP that provides counselling and links to resources on wellness, child and eldercare and more
  • Partnering with other professional organizations, including but not limited to Best Doctors, United Way, and the Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Sponsoring and participating in community events

Offering mental health support and/or programs in various forms can improve knowledge and coping skills for employees as well as reduce the stigma of mental health problems.  In addition, these initiatives can have a big impact on employee well-being, performance, engagement, job satisfaction, safety at work, and reduced disability related costs.

Reference:

WSPS Psychological safety at work: tips from Gold Award winner