CAMIMH – Canada’s First Ever Voluntary Workplace Mental Health Standard

CAMIMH – Canada’s First Ever Voluntary Workplace Mental Health Standard

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The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health Is Pleased to See the Release of Canada’s First Ever Voluntary Workplace Mental Health Standard

January 17, 2013. On January 16th, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the Bureau de Normalisation du Quebec (BNQ), and the Mental Health Commission of Canada release the country’s first-ever national voluntary workplace Standard:  The National Standard of Canada – Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Prevention, promotion and guidance to staged implementation. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) congratulates all parties involved in the creation of this Standard and advocates for Canadian employers to adopt its principles to help improve workplace mental health in Canada.

“All Canadians deserve to work in an environment that values and protects a person’s mental wellness, is free of stigma, and promotes psychological health. The Standard is a moving in the right direction,” said Dave Gallson, Co-chair of CAMIMH for 2013. “It is estimated that mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion annually with $6.6 billion reported in lost productivity due to mental illness.”

Development of the voluntary Standard was supported by funding from the government of Canada, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, and Bell.

On October 2nd 2012, CAMIMH met with members of parliament to discuss the state of mental health in Canada. One of their key asks was for the Federal Government to take action to create psychologically effective work places for their employees which will in turn reduce costs associated with stress leaves and health coverage while improving work force productivity. CAMIMH believes that as one of Canada’s largest employers, the federal government should set the example by creating mentally healthy workplaces in the public service which will benefit management, employees and their families. This involves adopting mental health promotion practices, such as those set out in the Standard, as well as making psychological services and supports available to employees with mental health issues.

“Since many mental illnesses manifest between the ages of 18 to 24, a time when people are entering the workforce, it is imperative that employers recognize the importance of providing support for the one in five Canadians who go through a mental illness or problem each year”, states John Higenbottam, CAMIMH Co-Chair.

CAMIMH feels that the introduction of this Standard is the first step towards realizing this recommendation. CAMIMH is hopeful that more steps will be taken to improve access to services and support for all Canadians.

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Established in 1998, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is an alliance of mental health organizations comprised of health care providers and organizations representing persons with mental illness and their families and caregivers. CAMIMH’s mandate is to ensure that mental health is placed on the national agenda so that persons with a lived experience of mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support.

To learn more about CAMIMH’s campaigns please visit camimh.ca or contact:

Kalene DeBaeremaeker
Email: info@miaw.ca
Tel. : 613-233-8906

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