Standard supports Canadian employers and employees in improving work
OTTAWA, June 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadian employers will have increased
support for improving the psychological health and safety of their
employees with the development of a new Canada-wide standard, the
Mental Health Commission of Canada said today at a public event to
introduce the Standard.
"The economic burden of mental disorders in Canada has been estimated at
$51-billion per year, with almost $20-billion of that coming from
workplace losses," said MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley.
"The requirements for an employee's physical health and safety in the
workplace are a longstanding concern for Canadian employers. Now it's
time to consider the mental wellbeing of the workforce the same way,"
Once completed, the voluntary National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the
Workplace will provide organizations with the tools to achieve measurable
improvement in psychological health and safety for Canadian employees.
MHCC is championing the development of the Standard, working
collaboratively with the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) and
the CSA Standards. A committee of health and safety professionals,
labour representatives, executives, government representatives, experts
in law and policy and other groups has been created by BNQ and CSA
Standards to develop the Standard.
The funding for this project has been provided by Human Resources and
Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Health Canada, the Public Health
Agency of Canada and Bell.
"The Government of Canada applauds the efforts to improve the
psychological health and safety of Canadian employees, recognizing that
a healthy workforce is essential to Canada's economic prosperity," said
Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of HRSDC and
to the Minister of Labour.
There will be a 60-day public review process held in the fall. The
completed Standard is scheduled to be released in 2012.
"The public consultation period this fall will be an important
opportunity to develop a Standard that works for Canadians and I would
encourage all stakeholders to remain engaged in its creation," Leitch
Mental health issues in the workplace: A growing concern
Mental health problems and illnesses are the leading cause of workplace
disability in Canada, representing 15% of Canada's burden of disease. A
Canadian Medical Association study in 2008 indicated that only 23 per
cent of Canadians surveyed said they would feel comfortable talking to
an employer about their mental illness.
The business case: What's in it for employees and employers?
The advantages of a psychological standard for employees include
protection from psychological harm in the workplace and the promotion
of psychological wellbeing. For employers, the business case in favour
of the new Standard rests on four main parameters - enhanced cost
effectiveness, improved risk management, increased organizational
recruitment and retention as well as corporate social responsibility.
The BNQ and CSA Standards will jointly manage the Standard development
process and publication. The Standard will be developed as a
'stand-alone' National Standard of Canada (NSC).
About the Mental Health Commission of Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for transformative
change. Our mission is to work with stakeholders to change the
attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve
services and support. Our goal is to promote mental health and help
people who live with mental health problems lead meaningful and
productive lives. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by
About CSA Standards
CSA Standards is a leading standards-based solutions organization
serving industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in
North America and the global marketplace. Focusing on standards and
codes development, application products, training, advisory and
personnel certification services, the organization aims to enhance
public safety, improve quality of life, preserve the environment and
facilitate trade. CSA Standards is a division of CSA Group, which also
consists of CSA International, which provides testing and certification
services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of
other products; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation,
inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For
more information visit www.csa.ca.
About the Bureau de normalisation du Québec
An administrative unit of the Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec
(CRIQ), the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) has operated for 50
years in the fields of standardization, certification and the
dissemination of information on standards. Officially recognized by the
Québec government, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), Canadian
member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and
the World Trade Organization (WTO), the BNQ is a forerunner in
developing measures designed to support businesses, industrials and
social and regulatory bodies. For more information: www.bnq.qc.ca.
SOURCE Mental Health Commission of Canada
For further information:
Kyle Marr, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Tel: (403) 385-4050
Cell: (587) 226-8782
Manager, Corporate Affairs
Business Development Coordinator
Bureau de normalisation du Québec
Cell: (418) 564-7282