SUMMARY: A 3-year national research study has been undertaken by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to determine how Canadian employers are using the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Results will help identify promising practices, formulate programs, and develop educational tools and processes to help more organizations adopt the Standard and to promote mentally healthy workplaces overall.

Join the conversation as we share questions and ideas from our participants and expert panel. Visit the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) website for more information about the Case Study Research Project.

Language is important as organizations implement psychological health and safety

October 2014

What if we don't want to call it, "psychological health and safety"?

Language is important. In organizations where there may be resistance to change, or even to the term psychological health and safety, there are ways to continue to move forward.

No matter what you call it, psychological health and safety in the workplace has many benefits. Talk about an increased focus on overall health, safety and wellness of employees, if that's easier to do in your organization. Or talk about employee engagement, social responsibility or a more positive work culture. Management can host discussions around continual improvement and increasing competency in areas such as emotional intelligence and performance management. Using any of these terms will still allow a focus on the some of the many facets of psychological health and safety.

One key approach to speaking the language of an organization is looking at existing strategic goals and considering how they might impact the psychological health and safety of employees. By aligning with your strategic goals, the modifications or initiatives have the potential to support the business plan as well as improve psychological health and safety.

There are a number of free tools and resources that can help organizations of all sizes embed psychological health and safety into the organization's strategic goals and culture including:

A Psychological Health and Safety Management System can help organizations consider the impact of workplace processes, policies and interactions on the psychological health and safety of all employees and integrate psychological health and safety into their organizations.

Elements and priorities for working towards a psychologically safer workplace provides a framework to help guide a review of your organization's policies and procedures for potential impact on psychological health and safety using the five elements of a standard management approach (policy, plan, implement, check and review).