SUMMARY: Questions and answers for a variety of issues related to workplace mental health and psychological health and safety in the workplace.

Top three Frequently Asked Questions

What information might be helpful for managers to know?

For general information, managers may want to begin with Managing Mental Health Matters. This free, video-based, online program covers a variety of areas including accommodation, performance, conflict and return to work.

If you have a specific employee situation in one of these areas, Workplace Solutions can help you develop an effective plan with practical solutions to address workplace issues.

For more specific issues, you can look at the many resources found under Managing Workplace Issues at the top of the homepage. This includes information on performance management, conflict resolution, and responding to employees with addiction, burnout, psychosis, dementia or other concerns.

Where can I send employees if they have questions related to mental health and I don't know what to tell them?

A good starting point is Working Through It, which is a video-based resource, intended to provide information to help support employees who are struggling with mental health issues. Job Specific Strategies for Employees provides a set of links related to coping at work. The section Depression, Anxiety and Other Conditions has links and information to help increase awareness and understanding about mental illness.

Mental health concerns in the workplace

Where can we start in addressing workplace mental health issues?

I think one of my employees is showing signs of burnout. What can i do to support them in their job?

Burnout Response can help you to understand burnout, recognize contributing workplace factors and take steps to help reduce its impact.

What are some strategies and approaches that can be used to help an employee return to work successfully?

Begin with Developing a Workplace Plan for an approach that can cover both return to work and accommodation of employees, especially if mental health may be a factor. Then see Supporting Return to Work Success to apply the approach in the return to work process.

You may want to use the comprehensive tool Supporting Employee Success, which helps address work-related triggers for emotional or cognitive issues. This free tool supports a thoughtful approach to finding accommodations to support success for the employee.

I have an employee returning to work after 'stress leave'. I know the co-workers are not looking forward to the return. What can I do?

Co-workers should be encouraged to work professionally with everyone in the workplace. In order to avoid discrimination, it is important to resolve conflict effectively. See Resolving Conflict.

What are some of the legal issues to consider in dealing with accommodation of mental disabilities?

A good starting place is The Duty to Accommodate and you can also follow the links to specific legislation. The video Managing Accommodation also shares information about the duty to accommodate.

An employee recently disclosed he has dementia. How can I prepare myself, the employee and the organization to suppport him in his job role?

Dementia Response provides information about recognizing and responding to dementia in the workplace as well as a first-hand experience of how one organization supported an employee who was showing signs and eventually disclosed a diagnosis of dementia.

How can we measure the mental health of our employees?

Your organization can screen for mental health issues in the same way it may screen for diabetes, high blood pressure or other illnesses. With all illnesses, the diagnosis is private to the employee. There are programs that offer confidential screening for a range of mental health issues. Check with the Canadian Mental Health Association, your benefit provider, or your Employee Assistance Program.

In addition, there are screening tools, available in the section Depression, Anxiety and Other Conditions section that your employees can use to confidentially assess their own mental health and take the results to their healthcare provider.

As a manager, how can I work more collaboratively with the union representative to help accommodate employees?

Union Support looks at how the union representative can play an important and supportive role in assisting workers with mental health issues. This can contribute to a more effective return to work or accommodation process.

Questions about psychological health and safety

How can I encourage senior management's buy-in to address psychological health and safety?

Check out Commitment, Leadership and Participation within the section Psychological Health and Safety Management System for ideas on how to present the benefits and advantages to senior management, including a link to Making the Business Case.

Do certain occupations have specific or unique psychological health and safety issues?

Other Chronic Stressors looks at job-specific factors that may impact the psychological safety of employees in certain sectors.

How do I deal with cynical or negative employees when I am trying to improve psychological health and safety?

If your organization has had problems in the past, it may be that your employees have a hard time believing that involvement in this process will result in a significant or lasting improvement. On the Agenda is a tool to help you engage your team in identifying and implementing solutions to include workplace mental health. The On the Agenda Overview is a guide for facilitators that also includes information about dealing with such things as negativity and cynicism.

How can my organization best support an employee who has recently immigrated?

Discrimination and Diversity helps us to recognize individual differences and move towards supporting and celebrating workplace success for each person in a safe, positive and nurturing environment.

How can we best support workers who are also caregivers?

Supporting Employees Who Are Caregivers provides strategies for employers to support their employees who are caregivers for family members or loved ones who have mental health or other health issues.

Submit questions

If these Frequently Asked Questions and/or the Search function on this site do not provide you with the information you are looking for, go to Contact Us with your specific request.