Canada’s journey to accomplish a world first

How did Canada become the first country in the world to have a national standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace?

There are many more stories and many unsung heroes who also played a role but may not be included in the Evolution book or research report. If you have a story to share about your own or someone else’s contribution, we encourage you to Contact Us with the details. We may be able to feature it in future web content.


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Sapna Mahajan, Director, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives, Mental Health Commission of Canada, talks about the social movement that has occurred to advance psychological health and safety in Canadian workplaces.

The Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada – Toward a standard for psychological health and safety, outlines how we moved beyond the idea that mental health was exclusively an individual’s responsibility, toward recognition that the way work environments are managed matters. The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, launched in 2013, was the result of this evolution in thinking.

This book, like all of the resources on this website, is available at no cost. Download your free copy or read it online. We do not have copies for sale, but you can print your own as long as there are no alterations (Read Yes, these resources are really are free! for details). Printed copies are available at select libraries across the country.

Dr. Joti Samra, R. Psych, shares how encouraging it has been to see the tremendous improvements related to workplace mental health.

The Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada: Research Report (2007–2017), provided the foundation for the book of the same name, tracking some of the trends that fueled the evolution, and identifying the initiatives and organizations which contributed to major milestones. It was commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace to support research through the University of Fredericton, led by Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych.

You can also read the Summary Report, which includes the highlights from the longer research report.

Please note that, while this report includes an extensive investigation and overview of factors that have contributed to the evolution of workplace mental health from 2007-2017, the evolutionary factors discussed in this report were identified as a result of a combination of national survey data and interviews with experts in the area of workplace mental health. We appreciate and acknowledge there are myriad individuals, agencies, and initiatives that have positively contributed to the present state of the workplace mental health landscape in Canada, but, by way of research design, may not be mentioned or highlighted in this report.

Sections or copies of the report may be reprinted, respecting the legal requirements of CSA as outlined under Legal and Copyright Information. The report is not to be resold or repurposed in any way.