What does Workplace Mental Health have to do with You?
Consider the following statistics:
Employers acknowledge how important their people are to the success and sustainability of their organization. Therefore, should we not be doing more to protect such a fundamental asset?
- In any given week approximately 500,000 Canadian workers will not go to work due to mental health issues.
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, account for 30% of short-term and long-term disability claims and 70% of disability costs.
- Employers lose more than 6 billion dollars annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, presentism and turnover.
(Source: Mental Health Commission of Canada)
According to the National Standard for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace, there are at least 13 workplace factors that can affect a worker’s health. These workplace factors include:
- Protection of Physical Safety
- Psychological Protection
- Civility & Respect
- Clear Leadership &Expectations
- Psychological Support
- Growth & Development
- Recognition & Reward
- Involvement & Influence
- Workload Management
- Organizational Culture
- Psychological Demands
Between now and Halloween, workplaces across Canada will be taking part in initiatives and activities to encourage a healthy workplace. So far, 317 organizations and 1,861 people are participating.
Each week has a specific theme and suggested activities for each week:
- October 1-7 Week 1 – Taking Action on Our Mental Health
- October 8-14 Week 2 – Improving Our Workplace Culture
- October 15-21 Week 3 – Making Our Workplace Resilient
- October 22-28 Week 4 – Keeping Our Workplace Safe
For more information, and ideas to make your workplace even healthier and safer, visit www.healthyworkplacemonth.ca
October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month
A psychologically healthy workplace is one that actively works to prevent harm to worker psychological health. Workplaces enjoy better recruitment and retention of talent, improved employee engagement, enhanced productivity, higher levels of creativity and innovation, and higher profit levels.
If a co-worker is experiencing a mental illness, its best to let them decide what and how much they tell others in the workplace. However, you can still offer support. Let your co-worker know that you’re there to listen without judgement, and make your co-worker feel like they’re still part of the team.
Here are more tips for supporting a co-worker:
- Ask how you can help and respect your co-workers wishes.
- Continue to include your co-worker in the workplace’s usual activities.
- Depending on your relationship, you can keep in touch with a co-worker who takes time off.
- When a co-worker returns to work after time off due to a mental illness, make them feel welcome and appreciated.