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Ways to Foster a Psychologically Safe and Healthy Workplace

05/01/2015

Ways to Foster a Psychologically Safe and Healthy Workplace

A psychologically safe and healthy workplace promotes emotional well-being, and
presents minimal risk to employee mental health. By making changes to your work
environment, and offering support to employees, you can reduce the occurrence,
duration and severity of mental illness, and enhance recovery. So how do we do
that?

There is no one "right way" to create a mentally healthy workplace. Every
workplace is different from the size of the organization, to the people doing
the work, the work that needs to be done, and the leaders of the organization.
All of these factors play a role in employee mental health. However, businesses
can create and nurture a psychologically healthy workplace by including mental
health in their business plan. Poor mental health not only hurts the
individual, it also reduces corporate profits. It's important that all levels
of the workplace - including the Board of Directors, management, finance, and
human resources departments - get involved to incorporate mental health in the
workplace.

Here are three things you can do to foster a psychologically safe and healthy
workplace:

1. Create and implement a Comprehensive Workplace Health and Safety Program.
This program is a series of strategies and related activities, initiatives and
policies developed by the employer, in consultation with employees, to
continually improve or maintain the quality of working life, health, and the
well-being of the workforce. These activities are developed as part of a
continual improvement process to improve the work environment (physical,
psychosocial, organizational, economic), and to increase personal empowerment
and personal growth.

2. Commit to creating a workplace that promotes mental well-being.
It is essential to have strong and clear senior leadership and the meaningful
involvement of leaders in the development of a mental health program.
Organizational commitment is crucial. All levels of the organization play a
role in designing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing policies or
practices. Form a corporate wellness working group with representation from
senior management, employees, trade unions, human resources, and occupational
health and wellness experts to lead this initiative.

3. Educate and train each member of the organization (managers, supervisors,
employees and health and safety committee members) about the importance of
mental health in the workplace. Provide education and training that ensures
managers and employees know how to recognize hazards such as harassment,
bullying, and psychologically unhealthy work conditions. This training provides
concrete ways for co-workers to recognize and talk about mental health issues
in general. Managers can additionally contribute to a positive work environment
if they have the skills and knowledge to identify and respond to issues before
they escalate.


Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety