Pre-pandemic, Mental Health was already one of the fastest growing concerns world-wide. In Canada, poor mental health was the number one cause of disability at work. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses cost Canadian business more than $50 billion dollars per year in lost productivity, benefit costs, disability leaves and absenteeism. And this was pre-pandemic. The impact of the prolonged stress and uncertainty on the mental health of Canadians remains to be determined post-pandemic.
McGill actively supports the mental health and wellbeing of employees through its comprehensive Mental Health Strategy. Mental Health in the Workplace is everyone’s business and a shared responsibility. Through numerous My Healthy Workplace initiatives, McGill provides guidelines, practices and tools that support a respectful, inclusive and healthy workplace for all employees - including those dealing with mental health problems.
McGill provides Mental Health sensitization and training (currently online) for all levels of administrative and support staff, introducing relatable models like Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Mental Health Continuum:
- Workplace Mental Health Leadership Certiﬁcate Program (Morneau-Shepell) - For Senior Managers and Leaders
The ﬁrst of its kind in Canada, this highly-reputed program was developed in partnership with the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair and Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. The practical framework and leadership skills introduced in the program align with evidence-based and industry best practices, including the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. This certificate showcases organizational leadership and commitment to a mentally healthy workplace, through best practices and innovative solutions. Over the course of three modules, participants explore the ever-expanding business case for mental health in the workplace, including an improved understanding of relevant legal, ethical, and business concerns. This certiﬁcation program also supports the development of empathetic and solution-focused leadership skills, which can be transferred to a variety of professional settings and situations.
- The Working Mind - For all Administrative and Support Staff
Employees gain an overview of the Mental Health Continuum Model and an appreciation for the importance of Mental Health in the workplace. Participants are invited to consider their own mental health and to learn strategies that apply at each point along the continuum. Engagement in this program helps heighten awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems, thus enabling employees to seek timely assistance when required.
- Mental Health First Aid Certification (HR & Other Helping Professionals)
Developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, this two-day certification program also introduces the Mental Health Continuum Model. Similar in content to the Working Mind, it delves further into aspects of intervention for helping professionals (e.g. HR Advisors). This includes how to observe changes in employees along the continuum and to take appropriate action, including special accommodations. Helping professionals learn how to communicate with employees about mental health and illness in a workplace context.
Across our programs and a la carte training, we encourage staff to take responsibility for their mental health and wellbeing, and to contribute to a psychologically safe work environment where all employees can belong and thrive. Those who qualify are encouraged to seek the confidential support of McGill’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (LINK).
Managers and employees are encouraged to adopt healthy strategies for managing stress and maintaining good mental health – both individually and as a team. In addition to central learning opportunities, units and faculties can engage their teams in discussion about Mental Health & Wellbeing, using a series of free, user-friendly tools.
13 Psychosocial Factors: Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace
The Mental Health Commission of Canada has prepared short videos explaining the 13 Psychosocial Factors in the Workplace that contribute to a Healthy Workplace where Mental Health is supported. Videos are clear, simple, relevant and engaging for teams at all levels. Free discussion guides can also be downloaded to ease the conversation. See the list below and click for their respective video:
The 13 factors of psychological health and safety (PH&S) in the workplace are:
- Organizational Culture
- Psychological and Social Support
- Clear Leadership & Expectations
- Civility & Respect
- Psychological Demands
- Growth & Development
- Recognition & Reward
- Involvement & Influence
- Workload Management
- Psychological Protection
- Protection of Physical Safety
Learn more about Psychological Safety and how it actively supports mental health in the workplace.
HR's Health & Wellbeing Resources on Mental Health
HR's Health & Wellbeing Team has compiled a list of resources to support you and your teams' mental health.