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November 1—The Kick We Need to Get on the Road to Psychological Health and Safety

October 30, 2013 | PDF

Canadian Mental Health Association supports new WorkSafeBC policies on bullying and harassment and offers workplaces resources to help

Vancouver, BC – On November 1, 2013 WorkSafeBC will officially require organizations to have policies and procedures in place to prevent and address bullying and harassment. The policies recognize the hazards bullying and harassment present to both those directly and indirectly affected, and their impact on work performance, absenteeism, and mental health.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) supports these new requirements and hopes that these policies will open the door to a larger conversation in workplaces across the province about how we can create respectful workplaces that are inclusive and supportive.

Bullying and harassment is a hazard in the workplace. It’s also a symptom that something larger may be broken. As Canada’s oldest mental health charity and a go-to resource for people experiencing mental health challenges, CMHA BC is contacted regularly by employees across the province who have experienced a mental health issue following an experience of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Quite often these workers find it immensely difficult to return to the workplace without jeopardizing their sense of safety and health.

These unnecessary losses of productivity for our society must be addressed. These are the outcomes we must work harder as a society to prevent.

To help employers meet the new requirement, WorkSafeBC has provided a toolkit. It’s a step in the right direction. It helps businesses of all sizes identify and address bullying and harassment. It walks them through the complaint and investigation processes, and even provides sample forms to use.

CMHA BC helps bring employers one step further through various workshops and training opportunities—including one on preventing and addressing bullying and harassment—as well as the annual Bottom Line Conference. Through these initiatives, CMHA BC works with employers of all sizes to create more supportive workplaces where supervisors and managers are proactive in addressing mental health issues early on.

Addressing bullying and harassment in the workplace is a good starting point. Creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace that is productive and sustainable must become our final destination.

To learn more about the new WorkSafeBC requirements around workplace bullying and harassment, visit www.worksafebc.ca. Learn more about CMHA’s workplace mental health resources and training at www.cmha.bc.ca.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC)

A provincial charity and community leader celebrating 60 years, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) BC promotes the mental health of British Columbians and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. CMHA BC does this through building capacity, influencing policy, developing resources and providing services. CMHA BC is part of one of Canada’s oldest charitable organizations, working towards a shared vision: mentally healthy people in a healthy society. In BC, the CMHA family has 18 branches serving more than 82,000 people across 100 communities. Learn more at www.cmha.bc.ca.

To schedule interviews, contact:

Jennifer Quan

Marketing and Communications Manager

Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division

604-688-3234 ext. 224 or jennifer.quan@cmha.bc.ca

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