The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

Case study research project

On March 16, 2017 the MHCC released the findings of our three-year Case Study Research Project (CSRP), which tracked 40 Canadian organizations from various industries and sectors as they successfully implemented the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (Standard).

A global first, the Standard is a “made-in-Canada” set of guidelines, tools and resources to help employers promote mental health and prevent psychological harm at work.

The CSRP findings identify promising practices and lessons learned from 40 organizations – representing 250,000 employees – that implemented the Standard beginning
in 2014.

They describe how the organizations integrated the mental health and wellness of employees into policy and practice, pointing to nine best practices ranging from engaging leadership to promoting communication.

The findings were released on March 16 at a panel discussion event featuring executives from four participating organizations who shared their diverse experiences with journalists, as well as with senior leaders from businesses embarking on implementation of
the Standard.

The CSRP was led by the MHCC with funding support from Lundbeck Canada Inc., Great-West Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace and the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnership Program-Disability Component.

Beyond the CSRP, 2017 was a landmark year in the life of the Standard.

For example, The Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada research report found that 83.3 per cent of key informants identified the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace as the most influential initiative in advancing workplace mental health over the past 10 years. The MHCC was identified by 76.2 per cent of key informants as the single most influential agency in bringing about positive change within this same time frame.

In an international review of workplace mental health guidelines published in the Preventive Medicine journal, the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace scored highest for both the quality (90%) and comprehensiveness of content (100%), ahead of
20 other guidelines reviewed.  The review examined guidelines developed for use by employers to detect, prevent, and manage mental health conditions within the workplace and took an integrated approach by combining expertise from medicine, psychology, public health, management, and occupational
health and safety.