Having a mentally healthy workplace is about more than just addressing mental illness. Workplaces can create a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging. Workplaces can help to promote positive mental health, provide universal coping strategies, identify and intervene early when there is a problem, as well as reduce the onset, severity, impact and duration of mental health problems.
1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem in a given year and many of those people are in the workforce¹. A workplace that does not promote psychological safety can increase absenteeism, decrease productivity, and perpetuate a toxic work environment. In contrast, a psychologically safe workplace can improve recruitment and retention, staff engagement, sustainability, and health and safety.
Whether an employee struggles with mental health problems themselves or is supporting a loved one with mental illness, promoting mental health and creating and psychologically safe workplace has benefits above and beyond the direct impact on workplace attendance and productivity. A psychologically healthy and safe workplace is one that promotes employees’ psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to employee psychological health due to negligent, reckless or intentional acts.
To promote mental health in your workplace:
- Sign up to access resources at Minds Connected. You can sort through strategies and interventions that might suit your organization such as training, surveys, apps, and more. You can also get support for public health professionals to implement and evaluate your efforts
- Have open and honest conversations about mental health
- Avoid stigmatizing language or judgment
- Engage in activities that support well-being at work
- Find out what supports your organization offers
- Mental Health Commission of Canada