People from countries like Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, the U.K. and others are asking how Canada has come so far in advancing psychological health and safety in workplaces over the last 10 years. The answer, in no small part, is due to the many pioneers who have worked tirelessly and passionately to advance this cause.
- For some, it was a cause that was close to their hearts because they witnessed a friend, colleague or loved-one suffer unnecessarily in a psychologically unsafe workplace.
- For others it was a passion for excellence and a recognition that a psychologically safe workplace is one that supports organizational success.
- Then there are those for which it was deeply personal as they experienced firsthand what it was like to have a mental health issue in an unsupportive workplace.
- Some even saw the consequences involved for employers who did nothing and approached this as a risk management issue.
Throughout this year, we are thrilled to feature monthly videos of some of those individuals who helped to advance workplace mental health by sharing their reflections on the evolution of workplace mental health in Canada.
What set many of these pioneers apart was that they went above and beyond the call of duty to find innovative, yet practical, approaches to help employers do a better job of providing psychologically healthy work environments.
These pioneers came from many disciplines - some were lawyers, social workers, accountants, healthcare professionals, researchers and academics. Within organizations, support came from CEOs, managers, union representatives, occupational health professionals, and human resources. It was the multi-disciplinary collaboration that led to many of the new and innovative strategies that have the rest of the world looking to Canada as a leader.
There were some challenges and times when it seemed like the movement was at a standstill. But the pioneers kept working towards the goal of protecting employee mental health. When some were discouraged, others provided motivation and support. When some were exhausted, others carried on for them. This was a sometimes small but always mighty group.
This month's videos feature Dr. Ian Arnold, Dr. Martin Shain and Roger Bertrand (French). Subscribe to the Centre's email newsletter to get updates as we add more videos throughout the year.
Dr. Ian Arnold is an Occupational Health Physician and former Chair of the Workforce Advisory Committee for the Mental Health Commission of Canada. His systematic approach to providing solutions from an occupational health and safety perspective has been invaluable.
Dr. Martin Shain is an academic lawyer who speaks about the legal and business reasons to support a more "careful workplace". His papers and books helped guide the development of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard).
Roger Bertrand is a former politician and chair of Groupe entreprises en santé. His insightful and tireless leadership as Co-Chair of the Technical Committee for the Standard has helped advance psychological health and safety.