Finding support for workplace mental health programs

A new digital hub of resources is available for workers and employers to support psychological health and safety at work.  

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Talking about mental health — be it your own or someone else’s — isn’t always easy. But if employers and workers are prepared, their understanding and compassion can go a long way in supporting people struggling with their mental health.

Here’s one idea about how an employer can start a conversation.

“It can be helpful to start a difficult conversation by acknowledging the strengths and skills workers bring to their job,” suggests this article at BC’s Hub for Workplace Mental Health. “If you sense that one of your employees is feeling the stresses more acutely or you just think something isn’t right, it may be time to connect with that worker in a different way.”

Launched in April 2021, the Hub for Workplace Mental Health is funded by the B.C. government and developed in partnership with the province’s safety associations and the B.C. division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It includes advice, articles, access to workshops and webinars, and links to other online tools such as BounceBack, a free program designed to help adults and youth 15 and up build skills to manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and stress.

Initially the hub provided resources for people working in tourism, hospitality, and community social services, but it’s being updated regularly and expanding to include more industry sectors. The resources help employers and workers find ways to resolve workplace conflicts, manage stress, build resilience, and improve mental health overall.

The importance of psychological health and safety

“Psychological health and safety in workplaces is as vitally important as physical health and safety,” says Jonny Morris, CEO of the CMHA’s B.C. Division.

CMHA-BC has long supported WorkSafeBC in promoting protection from psychological injuries due to workplace bullying and harassment. Now WorkSafeBC is expanding its focus.

WorkSafeBC’s Psychological Safety Initiative supports the management of psychological risks in the workplace that contribute to injuries or illnesses.

The goal of the safety initiative is to:

  • Assist employers to eliminate or mitigate hazards to health and safety in the workplace
  • Provide best practices and information on how to support workplace psychological wellness
  • Provide information and supports to help prevent workplace mental health issues

Jonny Morris backs the initiative: “WorkSafeBC’s newly launched Psychological Safety Initiative will be an important contribution to the management of psychological risks in the workplace.”

More resources

For information about current crises in B.C., see this Vancouver Sun article, Compounding grief from multiple crises taking toll on mental health in B.C., says CMHA.

Also, see the B.C. government’s list of Virtual mental health supports for British Columbians experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges.

CMHA-BC also provides additional workplace mental health workshops that are more in-depth than the free resources on the Workplace Mental Health hub.

Thanks to Jonny Morris for her comments on this topic — and please remember that help is available.

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