How to assess workplace mental health readiness

May 14, 2018

mental healthIs your workplace mental health program doing what it needs to do? Have you ever assessed its effectiveness? With just a few quick clicks, your health and safety or human resources coordinator can answer five online questions that can help assess the status of your workplace mental health program.

These online questions at ThinkMentalHealth.ca, a website created by WSPS and its health and safety system partners, are the first step in mapping out a workplace mental health program:

  • Is my business aware of the need for a workplace mental health program?
  • Does my business have a desire to adopt and support a workplace mental health program?
  • How much knowledge does my business have about workplace mental health?
  • Does my business have the ability to implement a workplace mental health program?
  • What resources does my business have to sustain a workplace mental health program?

Participants answer each question using a scale of 1 to 5. The website calculates how ready your workplace is to develop a mental health program, and then identifies online resources that can help you build it.

"ThinkMentalHealth.ca offers a series of steps geared to three levels of readiness. Getting started, gaining momentum, or raising the bar," explains WSPS Consultant Danielle Stewart. "Understanding your current state of readiness is your starting point to creating a mentally healthy workplace. Then you need to find out how to move it forward in practical, manageable steps, this is where the website adds real value."

Each level of readiness builds on the previous level. Your workplace can move forward at its own pace, choosing the steps best suited to its needs and objectives. Along the way you build knowledge, awareness and trust, so that everyone understands what you aim to achieve and why.

Mental health as corporate success factors

To do a job well, employees require an environment that promotes psychological safety. It's important for workers feel their thoughts and perspectives are respected and valued, psychological support is also important. A workplace with psychological support provides resources to individuals who are struggling and promotes a community where social connectedness and collaboration is valued. These are just two of the 13+ workplace factors that contribute to the creation of a mentally healthy workplace. Pay attention to these factors to increase productivity and decrease the risk of incidents and injuries that occur at work.

Here are three early warning signs that something may not be right in your workplace:

  • productivity is not what it could be,
  • work is not being finished or on time,
  • absenteeism and presenteeism are higher than you'd like.

In any given week approximately 500,000 Canadian workers will not go to work due to mental health issues, costing employers more than $6 billion annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover.

ThinkMentalHealth.ca helps workplaces organize work and manage their people with mindfulness and carefulness. The goal is to create a psychologically safe environment in which each individual is respected, valued, and a contributing factor to the organization.

"Thinkmentalhealth.ca does this by helping you align existing processes and procedures, so that you're not reinventing the wheel," says Danielle. "Instead, you're integrating psychological health and safety into your everyday activities, which makes it manageable and sustainable."

How we can help

WSPS Consultants can assist you with: 

  • raising awareness and developing stigma reduction strategies,
  • conducting needs assessments,
  • implementing a policy and programs,
  • advising on program performance,
  • implementing the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

We also offer four distinct training options:

Find out more about these and other resources on our workplace mental health web page.