Being a university student also means holding a part-time job for most students to pay off those hefty student bills and having some pocket money for social outings. And they’ve most likely heard of WHMIS and occupational health and safety as part of their job training. But now there is a new kind of safety being promoted in the workplace and that is of mental health.
The Mental Health Commission of Can-ada (MHCC) proposed a voluntary na-tional standard on psychological health in the workplace. The purpose of the stan-dard, called the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, is to promote a workplace environment that is free of risks to the mental health of employees. It is aimed at providing employers and human resources personnel the tools to provide a psychologically safe working environment.
As stated by Mary Ann Bayton, program director for the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, in the Globe and Mail “the standard will give a framework for assessing the psychological health and safety of the organization, how it’s structured and, if there is a risk, how to consider alternatives.”
The standard, which took more than a year to develop, will be implemented next month. And it’s about time now that the burden of mental illness surpasses that of cancer, according to a new report called Opening Eyes, Opening Minds released on October 10 on World Mental Health Day 2012.
The National Standard of Canada for Psy-chological Health and Safety in the Work-place is a fresh idea in a sea of measures aimed at treating mental illness and eliminating its stigma. The standard, on the other hand, focuses on the preven-tion of injury to the mental health of Canadian employees.
This is a win-win situation for both em-ployees and employers. Employees can look forward to working in an environ-ment that is both physically and psycho-logically sound, and employers can look forward to having healthier employees.
Because a good worker is one that is physically and mentally healthy.
By Inderjeet Singh