Background

Managing Emotions is an addition to the Managing Mental Health Matters resource, but has a unique history in terms of conception and development. The Mental Health Commission of Canada hosted an invitational workshop for employer and employee representatives at the 2010 Health Work & Wellness Conference in Vancouver. They met to discuss the implications of Dr. Martin Shain’s latest paper, "Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm: Converging systems create mounting pressure to create the psychologically safe workplace.

The group considered what employers need to know and/or access to help provide a psychologically safe workplace in today’s economic environment, and identified resources they felt needed to be created to that end. The result is a comprehensive report called "Elements and Priorities for Working Toward a Psychologically Safer Workplace" available at www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/mhcc.

At a subsequent session, the broader conference audience was asked to prioritize the proposed employer resources identified at the invitational session. One identified priority was a set of resources to assess and improve the emotional intelligence of managers. Participants described emotional intelligence as the ability to manage one’s own emotions in the workplace, as well as the ability to recognize and respond to the emotional distress of employees.

The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace responded to this need by commissioning Managing Emotions to complement their existing Managing Mental Health Matters resource.