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How to Foster a Healthy Workplace

October is Healthy Workplace Month across Canada – an initiative that encourages employers to promote healthy workplace practices throughout the year. A healthy workplace is one that cares about the physical and psychological health and safety of its employees and establishes systems and programs to achieve and maintain exemplary health.

A healthy workplace consists of four elements, one of which is mental health.

In any given year, one in five Canadians will personally experience mental illness or a mental health issue, but five in five people – that’s all of us – have mental health. That’s why it’s in an employer’s best interest to support their workers’ mental health where they can.

The Impact of Mental Health on Business

Poor working environments – including discrimination and inequality, excessive workloads, low job control and job insecurity – pose a risk to mental health.

Safe and healthy working environments are not only a fundamental right but are also more likely to minimize tension and conflicts at work and improve staff retention, work performance and productivity.

Globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.

Furthermore, 86% of employees believe their company’s culture should support mental health.

World Health Organization on Mental Health at Work

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in September about the importance of a healthy workplace. In its paper, it outlines effective actions to prevent mental health risks at work, protect and promote mental health at work, and support workers with mental health conditions.

How to Make Your Workplace a Healthy Workplace

If you’re ready for your workplace to champion mental health, CMHA National offers a number of workplace mental health solutions for employers across Canada:

Not Myself Today: Through this employee wellness platform, employees can access helpful tips, learning modules and other resources to improve their mental health at work. The platform helps to build an open and supportive workplace by cultivating meaningful conversations and deeper understanding about mental health and wellness in the workplace. 

Customized Training: CMHA offers in-person or virtual workshops based on the needs and interests of your employees. From building resilience and managing stress, to returning to work and coping with change, our facilitators can work with you to deliver the right workplace mental health training for your team.

Psychological Health & Safety Courses: Psychological Health & Safety training is designed for individuals who are working to improve psychological health and safety in their workplaces and/or to implement the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.