Making strides in making Waypoint a mentally healthy workplace
Making strides in making Waypoint a mentally healthy workplace
Posted on 12/15/2015
You’ve likely heard the statistic that one in five Canadians suffers from a mental health problem every year. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, in any given week at least 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of it.
Nicole Mace
Nicole Mace is Waypoint's Psychological Health and Safety Coordinator

These are staggering numbers and although normal human biases lead us to believe that none of us will be that “one”, in reality, it could be any of us. Mental health problems do not discriminate; and they not only affect the person experiencing the problem, but everyone around them. 

With most adults spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else; organizations can no longer ignore workplace mental health. When people are struggling, the work environment is either a positive, or a negative factor – one way or the other, it is significant. 

At Waypoint, supporting our staff so they can provide the best care possible to our patients has always been priority. While we’ve had a wellness program for more than a decade, we knew that if we really wanted to become a psychologically healthy workplace and ‘walk the walk’ as an employer, we needed to do more. Our 2014 Strategic Plan includes an objective to expand our caring culture to support staff wellbeing; and implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace is one way we envision doing that.

The first of its kind in the world, the Standard, developed in 2013 by CSA Group and Bureau de normalisation du Québec in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, is a voluntary tool to guide organizations across all sizes and sectors to improve workplace psychological health and safety.

Work on implementing the Standard began last year with staff focus groups exploring how it could be successfully implemented at Waypoint. The voices heard were combined to develop a three-year plan with an organizational commitment of resources to further support staff.

So far we’ve organized workshops and other educational events, offered targeted awareness programming specific to bullying, harassment and depression, adopted the “Not Myself Today” program, provided team building activities and started a few unique projects geared to supporting staff. We also recently conducted a survey where the results will help formulate an action plan to address any identified areas of concern.

The benefits of a psychologically healthy workplace aren’t left at the door when our employees head home either. Our 1200 employees have family, friends and a community they interact with on a daily basis. When they are supported and mentally well at work, the benefits will be seen right across the communities we all live in.

If you’d like to more information about psychologically healthy workplaces, or to view the Standard, please visit mentalhealthcommission.ca.