The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released the findings of its three-year Case Study Research Project that 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 (the 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 Case Study Research Project findings identify promising practices and lessons learned from these organizations, representing 250,000 employees, which implemented the Standard in 2014. Key findings include:
- Ninety-one percent of the organizations implemented the Standard because it is "the right thing to do". Other reasons included "to protect the psychological health of employees" (84%) and "increase employee engagement" (72%).
- Seventy-eight percent implemented respectful workplace policies and educational initiatives.
- Seventy percent provided early intervention through employee and family assistance programs and services addressing mental health.
- Sixty-six percent enhanced awareness of mental health among employees.
- Participating organizations achieved on average 72% compliance with the five elements (commitment and policy, planning, implementation, evaluation and corrective action, management review) in the Standard, a remarkable improvement from 55% compliance at the baseline stage.
In Canada alone, mental health problems and illnesses account for more than one-third of disability claims and two-thirds of disability costs. A recent Ipsos poll found the Standard could be a contributing factor to the overall improvement in the psychological health and safety of Canadian workplaces. For example, employees living with depression who work in an organization using the Standard are missing five fewer days each year from work, according to the survey.