Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers


As the burden of workplace mental health problems on the public and private sectors in Canada increases, the management of workplace mental health issues will be of increasing importance. Yet, strategies for the assessment, prevention and treatment of mental health problems in the workplace are underdeveloped and underused.

In order to help remedy this the Workforce Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada  asked CARMHA to examine the relevant scientific and ‘grey’ literature on approaches to improving the mental health of employees and create practical resource for employers. The aim of Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers, is to help employers to create a psychologically healthy workplace, one that supports the psychological health of employees in a manner that also furthers the goals of the organization. Promoting psychological health for the entire workforce is an excellent strategy for reducing the risk of psychological harm. A psychologically healthy workplace helps keep workers safe, engaged and productive.

The Guide is based on a comprehensive implementation model, the P6 Framework, that describes the change process in terms of six successive components: Policy, Planning, Promotion, Prevention, Process and Persistence.

For each component of the P6 Framework, three practical actions are provided. These actions are consistent with research evidence and represent a promising practice in the field of psychological health and safety. Each action also includes an explanation of why it matters, how to implement it and access to supportive tools that are web-based, primarily Canadian and available at no or minimal cost.

The guide also includes stories that illustrate how workplaces have tackled psychological health and safety. The Guide is available in French and English and is consistent with, and complementary to, the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.


Merv Gilbert, Dan Bilsker