World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
Every week in Canada, 500,000 people miss work due to a mental health problem or illness. However, there are initiatives afoot to tackle this serious concern. Canada is quickly gaining a reputation as a global leader when it comes to addressing workplace mental health. The fact is, addressing mental health at work should be as commonplace as prioritizing physical health and safety on the job.
That’s why employers around the globe are turning to the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. An international first, championed by the MHCC, the Standard is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources that is reshaping how employers approach safeguarding the psychological health of their employees. In an international review of workplace mental health guidelines published in the Preventive Medicine journal, the Standard scored highest for quality and comprehensiveness, ahead of 20 other guidelines reviewed. Further, the Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada research report found that more than 80 per cent of key informants identified the Standard as the most influential initiative in advancing workplace mental health over the last ten years.
While the onus is on employers to create psychologically healthy workplaces, every employee should be encouraged to learn more about mental health and wellness, from engaging in prevention, to understanding the signs and symptoms of a mental health problem. The MHCC, in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health, has created videos based on the 13 factors that affect the psychological health and safety of workers. We encourage every employee to watch them and become more informed.
Given that two-thirds of adults in Canada spend 60 per cent of their waking hours at work, the workplace is an ideal venue to advance this crucial conversation.”