In terms of other support options in the workplace

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In terms of other support options in the workplace, the survey found employers could curb risk by developing or maturing their current approach to supporting employee mental health. Specifically, organizations can implement and evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives such as campaigns to reduce the stigma related to mental illness, mental health policies, the adoption of a mental health strategy such as the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. This includes evolving accommodations policies and reviewing current attendance policies to ensure the flexibility needed to support mental health. Much work remains to be done to support mental health in today’s workplace. This is evidenced by the survey results where 66% of respondents reported their employers did not have any policies or programs to reduce stigma, 75% reported that to their knowledge their workplace did not have an overall workplace mental health strategy, and 90% reported there were no attendance policies that addressed mental health (e.g., effective disability management and safe return-to-work programs). What can organizations do to effectively support mental health? Employers are advised to shift how they support mental health and by broadening their concept of workplace mental health to act proactively rather than solely reactively (e.g., send employees in need to EFAP). Mental health doesn’t only affect the one in five employees who experience a problem, it is something that concerns five out of five employees. How an employer behaves and supports employees in the workplace can positively or negatively colour the perception of all employees when it comes to creating a culture where workers feel they can safely ask for support in times of need. For an employer to effectively reduce the risk of mental injuries to employees (e.g., bullying), as well as promote and support mental health, requires intention, planning, action and commitment. Effective support often starts with an effective talent management process that focuses on the entire lifecycle of the employee from hiring (e.g., onboarding training) to retirement or turnover (e.g., exit interviews). A key is to support an employee’s overall health, including their mental health.
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7 To reduce and manage the prevalence and impact of mental health problems and illnesses in the workplace, it is critical to embed policies, processes and structures and to measure their impact on regular basis using a psychological health and safety management system (PHSMS). Better yet, employers can increase the attention they give to early identification and the modification of workplace stressors (e.g., bolstering employee resiliency and coping skills with training) 3 . Effective workplace strategies have a positive effect on employee mental health, both in terms of supporting those with existing problems and preventing the onset of new challenges 4 .
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  • Fall '19
  • mental health, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Mental Health Experience

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