12 Months of Safety
January 2022

Mental Health

The pandemic has increased our understanding and awareness of mental health in the workplace and heightened the demand for workplace mental health programs, supports, and resources. It's time to stop thinking of mental health as a taboo topic and remove the stigma of shame and fear around mental illness.

What is mental health?

Mental health is at a state of well-being where the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to their community.

Mental illnesses are conditions in which a person's mood and behaviours negatively impact their day-to-day functioning. These health problems can include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, substance use, and other illnesses and addictions.

Why is mental health in the workplace important?

The workplace can be an essential factor to maintain positive mental health – but it can also be a stressful environment that contributes to mental health issues. When our mental health starts to deteriorate, it can be hard to enjoy life like we used to. The total cost from mental health problems to the Canadian economy is more than $50 billion annually and can contribute to lost productivity from absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover.

  • Know the risk factors for mental health
  • Understand the common signs and symptoms of mental health issues and how to recognize when an employee might be struggling with mental health issues
  • Access tools, resources, and information to help address mental health in the workplace.

If you or someone in your workplace is experiencing a mental health crisis and needs immediate medical support, call 9-1-1.

Mental health crisis line workers are also available across BC.

  • 1-800-SUICIDE for individuals who are or know someone who is having thoughts of suicide. Available 24/7 in up to 140 languages
  • 310-Mental Health (310-6789) for individuals who would like emotional support, information, and resources specific to mental health.
  • Health region crisis lines:
    • Interior Health – 1-888-353-2273
    • Fraser Health – 1-877-820-7444
    • Vancouver Coastal Health – 1-866-661-3311
    • Northern Health – 1-888-562-1214
    • Island Health – 1-888-494-3888

Mental Health Resources and Tools


Mental Health in the Workplace

Toolbox Talk

The workplace can be an essential factor to maintain positive mental health – but it can also be a stressful environment that contributes to mental health issues. When our mental health starts to deteriorate, it can be hard to enjoy life like we used to. The total cost from mental health problems to the Canadian […]

Mental Health Awareness

Course

Mental health is feeling good about who you are, having balance in your life, and managing life’s challenges. It is the responsibility of both employers and employees to protect and promote mental health in the workplace to ensure people are psychologically safe. For an introduction to the fundamentals of workplace mental health, start with this 1-hour online course.

Mental health awareness

Poster

You are not alone. 1 in 5 of us will experience a mental health concern this year.
  • Video

    Mindfulness | Video Toolbox Talk

    Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more fully aware of the present moment-non-judgmentally and completely rather than focusing on the past or worrying about the future.It involves a heightened awareness or sensory stimuli (noticing your breathing, feeling the sensation of your body) and being present and “in the now”.

  • Video

    Mental health in the workplace | video toolbox talk

    People often wonder what it means to have a mental health problem or illness. This video Toolbox Talk addresses some of the facts and terminology around mental health. Mental illnesses are conditions where a person’s mood and behaviours negatively impact their day-to-day functioning. These health problems can include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and many others as well […]

Mental Health News


Creating a workplace that supports mental health

An innovative work environment enhancement program from Sensitivity Training Canada, the 3-Step Respect in the Workplace Sensitivity Training program helps create workplaces that support mental health. Employers are required to protect the mental health of their employees while they are at work, physically or virtually. This includes protection from harassment, violence and bullying. Some employers […]

Beyond the mask – life after the pandemic

by Andrea McKinlay Exploring the psychological experience of taking off our masks.   While many of us dream of the day we can step into a mask-less future, the thought of discarding them for good is a source of anxiety for others. For many, the mask has become a rule of engagement during the pandemic in many everyday scenarios. Masks are […]

Mental Health External Resources

Website

Understanding mental illness in your family

If you have someone in your family with a mental illness, you may be wondering what is going on.
Website

The WorkBC Employer’s Tool Kit: Healthy Work Environments

“Workplace wellness is a commitment by an employer to cultivate a work environment that promotes the health and wellness of its employees.”
Website

Mental health issues at work

We spend a great deal of our time at work, and the financial and human costs of workplace mental health issues can be huge.
Website

Solutions for responding to mental health at work

Talking about mental health at work can be challenging. But becoming more aware of signs of mental illnesses, and learning how to have those difficult discussions are part of being an effective leader.