SUMMARY: Human Resources concerns may include accommodating employees with mental illness, improving managers' competency, and supporting organizational approaches to workplace psychological health and safety. HR's role may also include responding to employee situations involving bullying, harassment, discrimination, grief, psychosis, substance use, violence, suicide, and other issues in the workplace.

Accommodation and return to work

The following information and strategies can help support success when mental health is a factor for employees who are at work, away from work, and returning to work

This describes a process that can help you work with the employee to identify challenges, discuss solutions and develop a plan to support success at work. It can be particularly helpful when supporting employees who may be experiencing mental concerns.
Identifying the Issues
Developing a Workplace Plan

Learn about strategies that have been successful for other employees who have experienced mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety.
The Duty to Accommodate
Accommodation Strategies
Union Support
Supporting Employee Success - A Tool to Plan Accommodations

Planning for a sustainable return to work should begin before the employee's first day back at work and address any performance or co-worker concerns.
Supporting Return to Work Success
Union Support

Helping your supervisors and managers to better support accommodation and return to work of employees with mental health issues can begin with your review of existing policies and processes. You can then assign free online learning and use the questions provided here to facilitate discussion.


Psychologically safe workplaces

The following resources provide systems and approaches to assist organizations throughout the process of promoting psychological health and preventing risks to psychological safety.

The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace indicates that human resources professionals have a role to play in promoting psychological health and preventing risks to psychological safety. The following resources can help you in this area.

A framework for workplace psychological health and safety that aligns with the Standard.

Implementing the entire Standard is an ideal approach, but there are many other options to make positive change. You can effectively begin improving psychological health and safety in your workplace, even if you have limited resources and budget.
Get buy-in
Develop and communicate the assessment plan
Share results
Consider a range of appropriate actions
Suggested responses by factor
Plan for continual improvement

A Certified Human Resources Professional provides suggestions to help minimize the psychological risk to various workplace stakeholders during the termination of an employee.


Psychologically safe leaders

This video-based, online resource can be assigned to your managers. You can use the Leaders' Guide to help create a shared understanding of how you want these issues addressed in your workplace and to support manager development.

Video examples demonstrate approaches that may be helpful for:
Managing Emotions
Managing Accommodation
Managing Performance
Managing Conflict
Managing Return to Work

This resource found within Managing Mental Health Matters provides information related to behavioural and technical competencies of managers as well as interviewing questions and performance management tools.

Check out other resources in the Free Training and Tools section that can help you provide management training, increase mental health awareness, and assess and address psychological health and safety.

Assess your organization’s leadership approaches as they relate to the requirements of the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and evidence showing that employees who work for psychologically safe leaders are more likely to report higher job satisfaction and engagement, better workplace relationships, and better psychological well-being.


Mental health and wellness

Workplace Wellness Program Calendar
Free and credible resources to help plan cost-effective workplace wellness activities.

Chris Larsen

Chris Larsen

Vice President, Marketing, Membership and Professional Development, Human Resources Professional Association

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Chris Larsen speaks directly to HR professionals: "In order for companies to be successful, in order for their employees to be productive and happy, in order to retain people, to attract people, we need to be able to manage mental health as well as you manage anything else in the workplace.”