Your Guide to Mental Health at Work®
and the National Standard on
Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace


Hover over the points to reveal more information.

Why?

What?

How?

For My Organization Definition of Mental Health Proven Implementation Framework
For My Co-Workers What is Mental Health at Work? Tools
For My Role Successful Outcomes Training, Coaching
Testimonials   Certification
Case Studies   Recognition & Awards
 

Click on the points to jump to the details.

Click here to download the Mental Health at Work® Overview.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why?

  • For My Organization
     
    • The Business Case:
       
      • It is a fact that good health is not possible without good mental health. It is also a fact that one in five Canadians will personally experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
      • Mental illnesses affect people of all ages, education and income levels, and cultures. Depression will rank second only to heart disease as the leading cause of disability worldwide by the year 2020. Mental health disorders in the workplace cost Canadian companies nearly 14% of their net annual profits and up to $16 billion annually.
      • One in five employees will be touched by mental illness in their lifetime.   More than $51B is spent annually in Canada, from health care to lost productivity, as a result of mental illness and addictions.
      • It is good business to have employees who are psychologically healthy and safe, and managers who are sensitive to the impact of their decisions on employee mental health. These organizations know employee mental health and safety has a direct positive impact on their success.
      •  
      This is why Great-West Life and Excellence Canada have partnered to introduce a new award under the Canada Awards for Excellence program (CAE), called Mental Health at Work®, to recognize organizations for outstanding programs dealing with mental health in the workplace.
    Many of the criteria required for recognition under the CAE Mental Health at Work® Award are also met by satisfying the national Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
     
       
    • Corporate Social Responsibility
       
      • The organization is viewed as a leader within its sector regarding mental health, in terms of knowledge sharing, industry and benchmark leadership and best practices.
      • Workplaces with more positive mental health strategies can equally exert both a positive impact on the partners and families of mentally ill employees, as on  local communities to the point that they become communities of choice (Towers Watson, 2010)
      • With the growing jurisprudence on psychological health and safety in the workplace, and compelling body of scientific  evidence relevant to the legal ramifications to employers, it is more and more becoming both a public health and a governance issue in ensuring leadership and protection of workers mental health.
      •  
    • Recognition as Employer of Choice
       
        There are many benefits to an organization following Excellence Canada’s Progressive Excellence Program (PEP) Mental Health at Work® including:  
       
      • Employees recognize their organization as one that cares about their psychological health and safety.
      • Certification through Progressive Excellence Program (PEP) Mental Health at Work® 
      • External recognition of organizational achievements in creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace
      • National recognition at Canada's premiere excellence award summit, and eligibility to receive the Canada Awards for Excellence Trophy for Mental Health at Work®.
  •  
  • For My Co-Workers
     
    • Better Place to Work: Most adults and many youth spend the majority of their week in the workplace, whether as a full time employee or part time.[1] It is good for employees to know their organization cares about their psychological health and safety and takes measures to proactively maintain a healthy workplace.  Organizations who demonstrate a focus on workplace promotion and disease prevention, anti-stigma initiatives, management training, employee assistance programs, work-life and workload balance also have employees who are more committed and engaged.  Mentally Healthy workplaces have embedded policies and practices to deal with bullying, and harassment, as well as other workplace risks associated with the development of mental illnesses.  
       
     
    • Improved Lives: The workplace does contribute to an employee’s personal wellbeing, growth and development, but is also an increasingly stressful environment that can cause mental illness, including depression or anxiety.  Excellence Canada’s Mental Health at Work  certification program aligns to the new national  Standard for Psychological Health and Safety Standard in the Workplace developed for Canadian public and private sector workplaces and provides guidance for changing how mental health and mental illness are approached in the workplace, enabling both employers and employees to measure positive improvements [2] (see Mental Health Commission of Canada). Creating mentally healthy workplaces in all sectors benefits workers, their families, and employers, while contributing to the economic prosperity of the country. Through awareness and training, organizations can reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses and more supportive to employees recovering from mental illnesses,  enabling a positive and successful return to work.
       
  •  
  • For My Role
     
    • Progressive Excellence Program® (PEP) - Click here for an Overview
       
      • Ready Made Solution:  As an HR or Occupational Health Specialist, the MH@W certification program for your organization provides you with the methodology that has proven effectiveness in creating organizational excellence in mental health in the workplace.
    •  
    • Certified Excellence Professional® (CEP®) - Click here for an Overview
       
      • Opportunity for you to develop and build your skills and knowledge in organizational health and excellence.
 
  • Testimonials:  Here’s what the leaders of some recent Excellence Canada Award-winning organizations have said:
     
    • I’m happy to report that this Board has, in the past two years, made great strides into an area where it refused to go in the past. That is, the area of mental health. They have not only acknowledged the problems brought about by illness, they have also decided to throw money at it when it’s needed. From where we sit this is beautiful in many ways, because it means less suffering for those affected by mental health issues. It means that our members can now get the help which they rightly deserve.”                                    
      Sergio Cacoilo, Local Union President,
      OECTA Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District  School Board
  •  
     

     Click here to go back to chart

 

What?

  • Definition of Mental Health
     
    • Mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his own community. [3]
  •  
  • What is Mental Health at Work?
       
    • A mentally healthy workplace is one that employees feel safe, engaged and productive and know their employer is committed to maintaining a psychologically healthy and safe environment. 
    •  
    • Excellence Canada’s Mental Health at Work® certification program supports and aligns to the new national  Standard for Psychological Health and Safety Standard in the Workplace (Mental Health Commission of Canada)developed for Canadian public and private sector workplaces that provides guidance for changing how mental health and mental illness are approached in the workplace. [4] 
    •  
    • Mental Health at Work® Progressive Excellence Program (PEP) provides a roadmap for taking action and achieving certification for progressive improvement and excellence in mental health in the workplace.  Achieving a mentally healthy workplace is recognized by Canada Award for Excellence.  
    •  
  •  
  • Successful Outcomes
     
    • Positive and sustained trends are evident for key indicators relevant to the psychological health and safety of the workplace including:
       
      • Employee Engagement
      • Organization recognized as Employer of Choice
      • Productivity measures
      • Absenteeism 
      • Short and long term disability rates 
      • Accident/injury rates 
      • Grievances 
      • Lawsuits 
      • Turnover/retention rates 
      • Utilization of extended benefits (e.g. prescription drugs and psychologist benefits) 
      • Employee assistance plan usage
  •  
     

      Click here to go back to chart

 
 

How?

  • 1. Proven Implementation Framework
       
    • A validated and comprehensive management approach to implement excellence in mental health in the workplace.
       
      • Excellence Canada’s Mental Health at Work® is a framework and criterion for measuring progressive improvements towards achieving a sustained psychologically healthy and safe workplace and the ability to benchmark with some of Canada’s most successful organizations.
      •  
      • The framework serves as an objective tool that can be used for demonstrating what a psychologically healthy and safe workplace looks like.
      •  
      • It serves as a progressive improvement roadmap for organizations in any sector that wish to encourage, support and implement exemplary mental health related programs in the workplace.
      •  
      • The design of Mental Health at Work® is based on research and knowledge pertaining to success factors of employee mental well-being in the workplace and the experiences and outcomes of successful organizations.
      •  
      • It aligns to the new National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
      •  
      • The 13 Psychological Risk Factors created by Guarding Minds @ Work are incorporated in Excellence Canada’s Standard. Workplaces that focus on the mental health of their people recognize the need for policies and corporate values that support mental health and that provide a context for this direction of the organization.
       
       Mental Health @ Work diagram
       
  • 2. Tools - Check out Excellence Canada’s Self -Assessment Tools
       
    • Self-Assessments using Excellence Canada’s  Standard for Mental Health at Work can help your organization achieve high performance and move toward a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. The Excellence Canada Standards are a framework for evaluating your organization’s processes, their impact on results, and your progress toward your goals and objective
         
      • How Will Your Organization Benefit?

        A self-assessment can help you:
           
        • Identify successes and opportunities for improvement
        • jump-start a change initiative or energize current initiatives
        • energize the workforce
        • focus the organization on common goals
        • assess your organization’s performance against the competition
        • align your resources with your strategic objectives
        • deliver world-class results
      •  
    • Surveying your employees using Excellence Canada’s survey is an effective method for determining needs, gaps and the foundation for setting goals and action planning. 
    •  
    • Provide your Leadership with a Guide to the Criteria for Mental Health at Work   - a comprehensive tool for assisting your self-assessment and the development of strategies to close the gaps.
    •  
       
  • 3. Value Added Consulting Services
     
    • COACHING & SERVICES
         
      • Assessments
      • Best Practices Series
      • Surveys
      • Training 
      •  
    Excellence Canada offers a wide array of value-added coaching and services in the areas of Quality, Healthy Workplace® and Mental Health at Work®. Excellence Canada staff and their certified coaches will help determine your individual needs. We will work with you every step of the way to help you get started or to keep you going on your journey to organizational excellence.
     
    • TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
         
      • Professional Development
      • E-learning/Webinars
      • In-House/Public Sessions
      •  
    Excellence Canada offers innovative training for individuals and for groups of all sizes. Choose from a variety of Quality, Healthy Workplace® and Mental Health at Work® courses that are interactive and delivered by highly qualified and experienced facilitators. Develop your skills and build your knowledge so you can improve your organization and advance your career.
  •  
  • 4. Certification
     
    Gain the recognition you deserve as you progress in your pursuit of excellence. Excellence Canada offers individual and organizational certification and recognition. Individuals can be recognized for their expertise through the Excellence Canada Certified Excellence Professional® (CEP®) program while organizations can be recognized through the Progressive Excellence Program® (PEP) and receive national recognition through the Canada Awards for Excellence program.
    Mental Health at Work® PEP®
    Working together with professionals across the country, Excellence Canada developed a truly Canadian model—the Progressive Excellence Program® (PEP), which is progressive in scope and builds on four levels.
    • Our four-step approach allows organizations to implement and sustain a focus on organizational excellence in a manageable and practical manner.
    • The program supports existing frameworks and accreditation systems, while providing organizations with a key overall strategic umbrella for continuous improvement.
    • As your organization progresses on its journey and advances through the 4 levels of PEP, we provide certification at each level.
    • To obtain certification for each of the four (4) levels, internal organizational assessors are required to describe how the organization meets each Individual standard.
    • At Level 1, Excellence Canada requires an application only, describing how the organization meets each standard at that level.
    • For Levels 2 – 4, an application as well as a site visit will be required. A team of professionals (usually volunteer Partner members of Excellence Canada) will visit the organization for 1 or 2 days, depending on the scope and size of the application. As well, a random sample survey will be required by Excellence Canada.
    • There is a link to the prestigious Canada Awards for Excellence at levels 2 (Bronze award), 3 (Silver award) and 4 (Gold Trophy).
       
       
       
  • 5. Recognition & Reward
  •  
     
     
     
     
     

    References

     
    [1] Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2012). Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada. Calgary, AB: Author. 
     
    [2] Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2011). The Government of Canada is taking action to support mental health in the workplace [news release], 16 June. Retrieved from http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do;jsessionid=ac1b105330d85427c047f0e444f1819bd4ac45d708b2.e38RbhaLb3qNe38TaxuMahaPb40?m=/index&nid=606049
     
    [3] World Health Organization (2007). What is mental health? Retrieved on September 12, 2009 from
    http://www.who.int/features/qa/62/en/index.html
     
    [4] Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2011). The Government of Canada is taking action to support mental health in the workplace [news release], 16 June. Retrieved from http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do;jsessionid=ac1b105330d85427c047f0e444f1819bd4ac45d708b2.e38RbhaLb3qNe38TaxuMahaPb40?m=/index&nid=606049
     
     
     

     Click here to go back to chart