ian m f arnold oemac 2010 scientific conference saskatoon saskatchewan n.
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“Workplace Mental Health and Psychological Safety – Moving the Agenda Forward " PowerPoint Presentation
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“Workplace Mental Health and Psychological Safety – Moving the Agenda Forward "

“Workplace Mental Health and Psychological Safety – Moving the Agenda Forward "

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“Workplace Mental Health and Psychological Safety – Moving the Agenda Forward "

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  1. Ian M. F. Arnold OEMAC 2010 Scientific Conference Saskatoon ,Saskatchewan “Workplace Mental Health and Psychological Safety – Moving the Agenda Forward "

  2. Learning Objectives Learning Objectives: Learn about the MHCC’s national approach to training and certification in Peer Support Acquire knowledge on the business case for improving workplace management of mental health including Dr. Martin Shain’s new report “Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm” Understand how a Workplace Standard on Psychological Health and Safety will improve the management of psychological health and safety in the workplace leading to better health for employees and their organizations.

  3. The MHCC - in the beginning: • Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health – Chaired by Senator Kirby; • Many studies completed including “Out of the Shadows at Last”; • Public demand for a Commission on Mental Health recognized in “Out of the Shadows at Last”; • August, 2007 - Prime Minister Harper announced the formation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Chaired by the Honourable Michael Kirby; • All governments in agreement - the Commission design, structure and mandate is based on an understanding of Canadian constitutional reality – health care is a provincial and territorial responsibility.

  4. What is the MHCC’s mandate? • Non-profit, at arm’s length from all levels of government, funding from Health Canada. • Five strategic initiatives: • Mental health strategy for Canada; • Anti-stigma/discrimination initiative; • Knowledge exchange; • Homeless research demonstration projects; • Partners for Mental Health. • MHCC Peer Support Project • MHCC as “catalyst” for mental health system transformation.

  5. The MHCC’s Peer Project - Strategic Intent • Create the conditions by which we can leverage, on a wide scale, the acquired skills of people who have lived mental health experience; • Provide a robust enabling framework for organisations and systems to enhance current peer programs or launch new peer initiatives, build capacity and reverse the current trends; • Develop and Launch Peer Accreditation Canada •

  6. The Peer Project – What is a “Peer” • Two main components: • Peer Support Practitioners: enhance the utilization of peer support through the creation and application of national standards of practice*; • Peer Educators:encourage a change in societal attitudes towards mental illnesses through peer based education strategies specifically targeting adults in workplaces and later youth in schools; * Current focus is on Peer Support standards of practise (SoP)

  7. End Objectives of the Peer Project • Creation of a standardized national practice for peer-support (certification); • Workplace readiness assessment for introducing peer support systems; • Peer support worker selection, training and professional development; • Peer educator training and development; • Custom workplace mental health curriculum development; • A national, web-based peer support community of practise; • Peer Support mentoring and peer support case management / advice.

  8. Peer Project: Broad Project Timeline • Develop: • Standards of Practise • Certification Process • Research Methodology Analyse: consultation results 2014 2011 2010 2012 2013 Consult Expand Analyse Modify Develop Assess findings Adapt Implement pilot projects Performance measurement Measurement of outcomes • Progressive consultation: • 7 locations in Canada • comprehensive survey • (Note : 569 Agencies and Peer Support Workers across Canada) Adapt: Assist organizations to develop adapted implementation models

  9. So many issues…why workplace mental health? Productivity is linked to employee mental health Seven million Canadians will experience a mental health problem this year – that’s about one in five of us If we include addictions, that’s one in three Many, many more if we add stress and burnout Changing demographics may increase competition for talent Cost trends due to turnover, disability and absenteeism may be increasing Injuries are linked to mental health Physical well-being is linked to mental health

  10. What are the goals? • To have employees who want to come to work each day • To enhance our ability to maximize the potential of each employee • To do no harm to employees • To improve the mental health of our employees O H P’s can take a leadership role in promoting management of workplace psychological health and safety

  11. Some people feel there is no need to improve workplace mental health ! Not a workplace responsibility – it’s personal Costs too much money Not enough time in the work day We have benefits already Our people are fine now

  12. What is the Workforce Advisory Committee Doing? • Six strategic initiatives: • Review of the jurisprudence psychological health and safety in the workplace (Dr. Martin Shain) • Research project on employment sustainability for persons with significant mental health issues (U of T “Aspiring Workforce project”) • Research project to define existing best practices (SFU – “Integrated Approach to Workplace M. H.”) • Leadership Initiative – the business case • Development of workplace standards for psychological health and safety • Initiated development of an MHCC peer support* accreditation and certification process under the direction of Lt. Col. Stephane Grenier. * Now a major MHCC project separate from the WAC

  13. Mental Health Leadership Initiative – Moving forward – A Work in Progress The Mental Health Leadership Initiative builds on the pioneering enterprise of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health; In 1998, the Roundtable coined the phrase "mental health in the workplace“ and continues to support the vision that the mental health of working Canadians is both a business and economic asset; The Mental Health Leadership Initiative includes: Key aspects of the Roundtable’s 2007 “CFO Framework for Mental Health and Productivity”; Evolving legal requirements; A comprehensive framework approach to manage Mental Health in the workplace.

  14. The Business Case is Clear 1. Corporate Social Responsibility Includes employees as well as external stakeholders 2. Cost Effectiveness In productivity as well as cost trend management 3. Risk Management OH&S, Human Rights, Disability Legislation 4. Recruitment and Retention The competition for talent

  15. 1. Corporate Social Responsibility Towards employees, the community, shareholders, and other stakeholders

  16. Whose responsibility is it? “When it affects my business, it is my responsibility.” And...Bill C45* takes it even further. *Bill C-45 is federal legislation that became law on March 31, 2004. It established new legal duties for workplace health and safety; imposed serious penalties for violations resulting in injuries or death; and provided new rules for attributing criminal liability to organizations, including corporations, their representatives and those who direct the work of others.

  17. Mental Health in the Workplace Building Leadership Commitment ~ Don McKinnon This Video is part of a series of Videos available at

  18. Some indicators that mental health may be a concern… • Employees, including managers, hiding stress until they reach a breaking point or become ill • Failure to achieve targets and meet deadlines • Conflict among and between employees • Good employees quitting or transferring • People taking more time off than seems reasonable • Difficulty in returning people to work from disability

  19. Working can be good for mental health Disability duration is less when: There is positive mental health (all disabilities) Good coping strategies for stressors exist Workplace issues are resolved quickly Time off and return to work: The longer someone is off, the less chance there is of a successful return to work 6 months off – 50%, 9 months – 10% Focus on prevention and early intervention

  20. 2. Cost Effectiveness The biggest single cause of workplace related disability in North America is associated with mental health conditions

  21. Watson Wyatt Worldwide 2009/2010 Survey* • In Canada, mental health is the leading cause of both Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD), in the U. S. it is the 4th greatest cause for STD and the 3rd for LTD • Companies with the most effective health and productivity programs: • 11% > revenue per employee • < medical trends by 1.2% • 1.8 fewer days absent per employee • 28% > shareholder returns * The study involved 282 U. S. and 70 Canadian organizations representing more than 11 million employees in all major industry sectors

  22. The Cost of Doing Nothing Negative trends in costs: • Absenteeism • Presenteeism/lost productivity/quality • Grievances/complaints /reputation • Disability • Turnover • Serious injuries/illnesses • Annually, related to mental illnesses, the private sector spends between $180 and $300 million on short-term disability benefits and $135 million for long-term disability benefits*. * Institute of Health Economics, Final Report, June 2010

  23. Mental Health in the Workplace Building Leadership Commitment ~ Rob MacLellan This Video is part of a series of Videos available at

  24. 3. Recruitment and Retention Engaged employees generate 43% more revenue than disengaged ones* * Hay Group – “Engage Employees and boost performance 2001”

  25. Recruitment and Retention: Towards sustainable organizations Employees today expect organizations to support personal and professional growth – good mental health is one of the keys to success Prospective employees are looking for the “right culture” to support their personal and professional ambitions Attracting employees in a competitive market is a challenge Positive workplace mental health enhances organizational sustainability, including employee recruitment and retention.

  26. 4. Risk Management

  27. Dr. Martin Shain, in his 2010 report to the MHCC, said... A psychologically safe workplace is no longer a “nice to do”. It is now a “must do”. “We observe seven major trends in the law becoming stronger by the year. We can characterize these trends as pressures building toward a perfect legal storm, where the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.”

  28. Remedies available to employees • “For the first time in Canadian history, it appears that real redress for harm to psychological health is within reach of many, if not most workers” (Shain, 2010) • Financial awards • Have been large on occasion and have increased in size over the past six years by as much as 700% • Systemic, remedial orders to fix conditions of work that contribute to mental injury • Varied across the country

  29. Influences on the Duty to Provide a Psychologically Safe Workplace Employment Standards Legislation Labour Relations Law Human Rights Legislation Duty to Provide a Psychologically Safe Workplace Law of Torts (negligence) Workers Compensation Law Occupational Health and Safety Legislation Employment contract

  30. Mental injury and psychological safety in the workplace • Mental injury is not the same as mental illness. It is harm to mental health [mental suffering] that significantly affects the ability of employees to function at work and at home. • “A psychologically safe workplace is one in which every practical effort is made to avoid reasonably foreseeable injury to the mental health of employees” (Shain, 2009)

  31. Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm (Shain, 2010) • A perfect legal storm is brewing in the area of mental health protection at work • This storm brings with it a rising tide of liability for employers who fail to provide a psychologically safe work environment • Yet, employers lack the tools to assess and address workplace risks to psychological health

  32. Shain (2009) recommendations for psychological safety at work: Corporate and national policy levels • Corporate level: employers wise to identify, measure, assess and abate threats to psychological health • National policy • Population health policy – zero tolerance • National standards for measurement and management along with training, education, advice and consultation

  33. Key WAC Initiative – A National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace • December 2009 - MHCC/WAC, with Great West Life, holds consensus meeting in Vancouver – National Standard supported by all attendees, consensus statement issued: • “It is our vision to see the development of a National Standard of Canada on psychological health and safety in the workplace by December 1, 2011, and uptake by employers resulting in a measureable improvement in psychological health and safety within three years of that date.” • Early 2010, discussion held with Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Bureau de Normalization du Quebec (BNQ) • 02/10 Statement of Understanding agreed to by MHCC, CSA, BNQ

  34. Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – a National Standard for Canada • Objective: to provide employers with a methodology that will lead to measurable and sustainable improvements in psychological health and safety • Stand alone, voluntary standard • To be developed jointly by the Canadian Standards Association and the Bureau de Normalization du Quebec, contracted by MHCC • Will align with other international efforts.

  35. Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Alignment with other Standards • Will be consistent with the British Standards Institutes Guidance document, the OHSAS 18000 and CSA Z 1000 Health and Safety Standards, and the BNQ Healthy Enterprises standard • Standard to follow the ISO framework with 5 key elements: • Policy and commitment • Planning • Implementation and Operation • Checking and Corrective Action • Management Review

  36. Action Plan for the Workplace – A Sustainable Approach A sustainable approach is needed: • Set Policy, demonstrate commitment • Plan – assess where you are now and where you want to go – define needs • Financial impact (absenteeism, presenteeism) • Employee health impact (HRAs, other data) • Structural attributes that promote good mental health (e.g. Guarding Minds at Work) • Implement programs that address your organizations defined needs • Evaluate program operation and effectiveness • Review, reassess and improve

  37. Conclusions • Peer support systems will benefit those with mental health challenges and ease the workload for other professionals; • A systematic and sustainable approach for psychological health and safety, on a parallel with how physical health and safety is managed, is becoming a business imperative; • The business case is clear – social responsibility, cost effectiveness, recruitment and retention, and risk management; • Development of a standard on psychological health and safety in the workplace will provide a solid basis for action: leadership commitment, policy, planning, implementation, measurement, and review will ensure continual improvement for employees and employers. The time to act is now

  38. A selection of resources that are available on-line The MHCC Leadership Initiative: The Peer Support Project: The Shain Reports: Guarding Minds at Work: The Great West Life Centre for Mental Health: Working Through It – Stories of People dealing with workplace mental health issues: The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC): Business in the Community – Business Action on Health (BITC – U. K.),

  39. Thanks for your interest Mental Health Commission of Canada 10301 Southport Lane S.W., Suite 800, Calgary, AB T2W 1S7 For further information, check out our website at or contact us at