Laying the Foundation for Success

Resources and prevention strategies to manage psychological health & safety in the workplace.

Recently issues like workplace mental health, workplace violence (WPV) as well as managing aggressive responsive behaviors are fast becoming major issues for Canadian employers. The effects of all are costly to both the worker and organization.

Mental Health What's the Issue

Organizations are asking themselves what do we need do to implement and see success with a psychological health and safety program? Where do you start to garner support and to inspire and unite workers in an attempt to bring about meaningful change?

The first step is laying the foundation for success in the area of physical and psychological occupational health and safety.

Identifying the risks, controlling the hazards and ensuring workplaces have the necessary tools to meet legislative requirements is all part of aligning with the work environment as well as the culture and system within an organization.

beyond silence logomcmaster logoBeyond Silence CIHR and OHSPIP Funded Research

In partnership with McMaster University, PSHSA has committed to and undertaken the support of two separate research projects that are designed to provide Mental Health First Aid training and support to Healthcare and EMS Workplace.

Learn More

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Mental Health – Psychosocial Hazards

Workplace mental health encompasses conditions that affect the psychological and physical well-being of people and are impacted by two factors. The factors are what workers bring with them to the workplace and what the workplace does to employees once they are there. Change ingredients that encompass communication, management support and leadership are all ways to effectively support a healthy work environment.

Health and Community Services

Government, Municipal and Public Safety

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Ministry of Labour

The Ministry of Labour are using findings and insights to provide solutions to prevent traumatic mental stress, reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders and help people who have suffered mental injuries in the workplace. With a focus on prevention, response and support, the Ministry is committed to ensuring traumatic mental stress is a priority for the Ministry of Labour’s Chief Prevention Officer and will work with ministries across government to provide mental health supports in high-risk workplaces. Supporting mental health in the workplace by expanding services for employees continues to be a cornerstone of Minister Flynn’s responsibilities, as outlined in his mandate letter.


  • You Are Not Alone Campaign  The TEMA “We Are Not Alone” campaign is something PSHSA supports on an ongoing basis. Learn more here how Canada’s leading provider of peer-support, family assistance, and training for our public safety and military personnel help individuals and families dealing with Operational Stress and PTSD.
  • Elephant in the Room Campaign  Elephant in the Room is a national anti-stigma campaign designed to address the stigma associated with mental Illness. When you display your blue elephant, you show that you care about the wellness of others and demonstrate that this is a safe place to talk about mental illness, without fear of being viewed differently. Learn more and access their brochure, posters and other resources.

Healthy Break Activities – Improve mental health at work with these activities:

TakeYourBreak from Workplace Strategies for Mental Health

Relax your mindUse your mind to scan and calm your body

How to take this break

Take a break (in silence or with calming music) and start to focus on each area of the body – starting from the tips of your toes and working up to the crown of your head. Focus on achieving a sense of relaxation in each body part while scanning the body. Think about what you feel, what you hear and what you smell. This will help distract you from the pressures of the day by letting you get in touch with your senses.

Why this counts – Calming

Sometimes we’re not even aware of the stress we carry in our bodies. Once we learn to identify what we’re feeling, we’re better able to release the stress we might be experiencing both physically and mentally.

Ideas for this activity were contributed by- Bailey Vaez, Founder of Proactive Movement – Simple at Work Wellness Program; Katie Cino, Health Promoter, Niagara Public Health.

Do YogaWork some yoga into your day

How to take this break

Co-workers can actually stay at their own desks and a meeting reminder could be sent daily to encourage staff to take this break time. Link to a guided Yoga video you can do at your desk.

Why this counts – Relaxing

Yoga breaks during the workday can help employees relieve stress and become refreshed and more focused for the rest of the workday.
Go to Workplace Strategies for Mental Health for more ideas, tools and resources to help with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues.

Ideas for this activity were contributed by Donna Kubik, Wellness & Accommodation Consultant – IWK Health Centre, Halifax Area Healthy Workplace Network Meeting; Katie Cino, Health Promoter, Niagara Public Health; Halifax Disability Management Services Office, The Great-West Life Assurance Company.

Visit Workplace Strategies for Mental Health for more ideas, tools & resources to help with prevention, intervention & management of workplace mental health issues.

TakeYourBreak activities should be approved by your employer/leader prior to initiating them. TakeYourBreak activities are provided for general information only and are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician or appropriate health care provider with respect to your particular circumstances.

Feeling down or anxious? Check out the TruReach Mental Wellness App

Trureach App IconThe TruReach app gives users quick and engaging lessons based on cognitive behavioural therapy. TruReach isn’t a replacement for seeing a mental health professional, but it is a self-help tool designed to help you deal with feelings of depression and anxiety.

Download TruReach now

iPhone   Android

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Fatigue is an emerging health and safety hazard that presents an unsafe condition in the workplace and like any other risk factor, fatigue can be managed. Learn More

For more information contact Glenn Cullen, V.P. Corporate Programs & Product Development at:

Workplace Violence

Concerned about Violence in the Workplace in the Healthcare sector? Visit: to learn more. For Violence in the Education sector, visit here.

Occupational Disease

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