Employees in positions of leadership need to brush up on their mental health and psychological safety skills. Mental health and psychological safety seem to be the new science impacting the workplace. Of course, mental health has long been a serious issue for the medical community and the public health community but it is only quite recently that it now seems to be clearly on the agenda as a workplace health and safety issue. Workplaces have traditionally looked at workplace health from a strictly occupational health and safety perspective. To have a more complete or comprehensive approach, workplaces should also consider measures that may impact the mental health of workers. Change happens fast it seems and business leaders across Canada need to know more about mental health and psychological safety. It is time you brush up on these skills. A “mentally healthy workplace” is one in which mental health promotion is viewed as a strategy used to reduce risk factors associated with the development of mental illness. A “psychologically safe workplace” is one which employs strategies focused on preventing psychological injuries such as stress-induced emotional conditions and others. The concept of “psychological safety” involves preventing injury to the mental well-being of workers. A psychologically safe workplace is one that promotes employees' mental well-being and does not harm employees’ mental health through negligence, recklessness, or any other intentional ways. In this session we will explore the issue of mental health at work and discuss what programming would look like that would increase the psychological safety of workplaces.
Glyn Jones, M.A.Sc., P.Eng, CIH, CRSP Glyn is a Partner in the firm EHS Partnerships Ltd. He is a consulting occupational health and safety professional and leadership coach with 30 years of experience. Glyn is a chemical engineer by training and is a Professional Engineer. He completed a Master’s degree specializing in occupational health and safety. He teaches occupational health and safety at the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta and the University of New Brunswick. He holds numerous professional certifications and is a CIH and a CRSP. He is a past-Regional Vice-President of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and is a regular conference speaker and contributor to Canadian Occupational Safety magazine.