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CMHA applauds the new, higher standard for workplace mental health promotion and protection

January 16, 2013

CMHA to play an important role in helping workplaces implement new Standard
Today, Canada takes an important step for mental health as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Bureau de Normalisation du Quebec (BNQ) release the country’s first-ever national workplace Standard, The National Standard of Canada – Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Prevention, promotion and guidance to staged implementation. CMHA applauds the release of the Standard, which defines and sets a higher standard for workplace mental health.

For over 10 years, CMHA has been actively supporting and encouraging a change in the way mental health and mental illness are viewed and addressed in the workplace through initiatives such as CMHA’s award-winning Mental Health Works program. The new Standard will support this work and the efforts of other mental health organizations.

Workplaces are an important contributor to personal mental well-being. Yet workplace stress continues to increase and employees are reporting that they are experiencing both physical and psychological effects of these increased pressures.  A 2012 Conference Board of Canada survey found that forty-four per cent of employees reported experiencing mental health issues. This has an effect on families, communities and society as a whole.

“Given the essential role workplaces play in maintaining positive mental health, psychological health and safety should be given the same importance as maintaining a physically healthy and safe workplace”, explains Peter Coleridge, National CEO, CMHA.”While the Standard is an important step, more will need to be done to encourage and support employers to move toward implementing the standard.”

To read more about the release of Canada’s new workplace Standard, click here.

CMHA’s annual Bottom Line Conference, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a first-ever nation-wide conference, will focus on practical ways to implement the standard and create psychologically healthy workplaces. Celebrating a New Era in Workplace Mental Health: Putting National Standards into Practice takes place February 27-28 in Vancouver, with a satellite conference in Calgary.

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