Mental Health in the Workplace: A Perfect Legal Storm

“Calgary, Alberta, September 30 2010 – Financial rewards for damages caused by mental injury at work have increased over the past five years by as much as 700%, according to a report released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).   The report warns that a perfect legal storm is brewing in the area of mental health protection at work, and points to emerging responsibilities for employers to provide a psychologically safe workplace.

This is timely, since October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month and next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. The Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm (2010) report has been prepared for the MHCC by Dr. Martin Shain (University of Toronto), an academic lawyer and leading expert in workplace mental health issues. It concludes that employers are confronted with a legal duty to maintain not only a physically safe workplace, but also a psychologically safe workplace.”

Click here for release – pdf 2 pages

Healthier organizations

“Even as many Canadian companies were decimating staffs and hacking away at their operations to survive the recession, most maintained their worker wellness programs and many actually beefed up their employee assistance programs, according to organizational consultant Graham Lowe.

And he sees a great lesson in this for leaders.

‘They know they need to keep their employees healthy, because they need all their capabilities coming out of the recession. But many have not applied the same thinking and effort toward maintaining their organization’s long-term health,” says Mr. Lowe”

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