2014

Workplace psychological health and safety still a significant concern, but some employer workplaces are showing improvement, Ipsos Reid finds

High resolution Infographic: Psychological health & safety in the workplace

Fostering psychological health and safety need not be onerous: Guarding Minds @ Work, a free online resource, can help

WINNIPEG, Oct. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - According to an Ipsos Reid survey released today, seven in 10 (71 per cent) of Canadian employees surveyed report some degree of concern with psychological health and safety in their workplace, including 14 per cent who disagreed that their workplace is psychologically healthy and safe.*

The survey was commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace to help establish a baseline for psychological health and safety on the eve of the release of the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

The survey indicated that more people feel physically safe (20 per cent concerned) than psychologically safe (33 per cent concerned) in their workplace.  This may be because psychological health and safety has not historically received the attention, profile or resources that physical health and safety issues has had in the workplace. The Standard was developed to help provide a framework for employers who needed guidance in this important area.

"The fact that 14 per cent of respondents feel that their psychological health and safety is at risk in the workplace is a significant concern," says Mike Schwartz, Senior Vice-President of Group Benefits for Great-West Life and Executive Director of the Centre. "However, the number has declined from 20 percent three years ago, which suggests that some employers are successfully taking steps to address these issues. More employers need to know that resources are available to help them address these issues and while it does take time and effort, it need not be costly."

"Our experience is that many employers want to provide a psychologically healthy and safe work environment," says Mary Ann Baynton (photo), Program Director of the Centre. "The survey results underscore the ongoing need to equip employers with the right tools and the Standard can provide a framework to guide their actions."

One of the tools employers can access at no cost is the updated version of Guarding Minds @ Work™ which is now available on the Centre's website at www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com and at www.guardingmindsatwork.ca.

More information about free resources and survey results are available on the Centre's website at www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com

* A psychologically healthy and safe workplace is one that promotes workers' psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to worker psychological health including in negligent, reckless or intentional ways. (Mental Health Commission of Canada)

About the survey
The latest national Ipsos Reid survey on psychological health and safety in the workplace was commissioned and funded by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. A total of 6,624 surveys were completed online, including 4,307 among non-management employees and 2,317 surveys among managers and supervisors. This survey builds on an earlier Ipsos Reid survey conducted in 2009 and continues to track Canadian experiences of psychological health and safety in the workplace.

The survey results also serve to reinforce the value of the upcoming National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, funded by the Government of Canada and expected to be released later this year. The Centre helped to fund this national framework, including hosting a consensus conference as well as a forum on psychological health and safety in the workplace.

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 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. All of the Centre's tools and resources are available in English and French to anyone, anywhere, and at no charge at www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com.

The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace and design are registered trademarks of The Great-West Life Assurance Company.

Guarding Minds @ Work is a trademark of the Centre for Applied Research on Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA) and is used with permission.

As an Imagine Caring Company, Great-West Life is proud to support the resources developed through the Centre through its national corporate citizenship program, Stronger Communities Together™.

SOURCE Great-West Life Assurance Company

Image with caption: "Infographic: Psychological health & safety in the workplace (CNW Group/Great-West Life Assurance Company)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121030_C2374_PHOTO_EN_19759.jpg



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