Mary Ann Baynton recognized as a pioneer in workplace mental health with a CSA Group 2015 Award of Merit

Lauded as 'a leading voice in advancing mental health in the workplace in Canada'

WINNIPEG, June 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Great-West Life congratulates Mary Ann Baynton, Program Director for the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre), who today received a CSA Group 2015 Award of Merit for her leadership in fostering the development and advancement of the voluntary National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, Z1003 (the Standard).

Gianluca Arcari, Executive Director, Standards and Vice-President, CSA Group, credits Baynton with helping the Standard gain wide acceptance, as evidenced in part by its unprecedented number of downloads.

"As co-chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) Technical Committee and member of the Workforce Advisory Committee, Mary Ann was nominated by her peers for the principal role she played in the establishment of the groundbreaking National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (Z1003)," Arcari explains. "She continues to be an active champion of the Standard and this is a key reason it has gained so much recognition. It has been downloaded 23,000 times and applauded by government, businesses and the health care community. She is very deserving of this recognition."

Mike Schwartz, Executive Director of the Centre and Senior Vice-President of Group Benefits for Great-West Life, echoes the sentiment, noting that, "Mary Ann's substantial contribution to workplace mental health extends well beyond her role with the Centre, which helped to fund, in part, the Standard. She is widely recognized as a leader in her field, and it is a great pleasure to work with her."

In accepting her award, Baynton was quick to share credit. "It has been a privilege to work with the dedicated professionals on the technical committee, including my co-chair, Roger Bertrand," Baynton says. "I would also like to acknowledge and thank the hundreds of individuals and groups that took the time to contribute to the development of this important Standard - this award is a tribute to them, as well."

Baynton continues to serve on the expert panel for the MHCC's three-year case study project researching the Standard's implementation with close to 40 participating organizations, including Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.

The case studies will ultimately be shared broadly so that all organizations can learn from the experiences of the participating organizations.

About the CSA Group Award of Merit

Each year, CSA Group committee members make significant contributions to help create a better, safer and more sustainable world. And each year we honour members whose contributions and commitment are especially noteworthy through presentation of the John Jenkins Award and the Award of Merit. Past winners hold these awards in high regard since they are nominated by their fellow members and peers. The 2015 John Jenkins Award and Award of Merit winners were honoured at a presentation held during our Annual Conference and Committee Week in Niagara Falls, Ontario. See full list of winners here.

About the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Established in 2007, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre) is a leading source of practical ideas, tools and resources designed to help with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues.

Focused specifically on the workplace, the Centre is working to increase awareness and understanding, and to help employers take concrete steps to foster a psychologically healthy and safe workplace and manage employee mental health issues.

As part of its ongoing commitment to workplace mental health, the Centre is helping to fund the Mental Health Commission of Canada's three-year research project into the experiences of close to 40 organizations across Canada that are currently working towards implementation of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, including Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. The case studies will ultimately be shared broadly so that all organizations can learn from the experiences of the participating organizations.

Visit the Centre's website at www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com

Find Great-West Life on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

SOURCE Great-West Life Assurance Company

Image with caption: "Mary Ann Baynton, presented with a 2015 Award of Merit, with Jeanne Bank, Manager, Standards, CSA Group. Assurance Company) (CNW Group/Great-West Life Assurance Company)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150626_C9979_PHOTO_EN_43908.jpg

For further information:

Marlene Klassen, APR Assistant Vice-President, Communication Services, 204.946.7705


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