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Employee Mental Health is More Than an Individual Problem

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Katharine Coons

Katharine Coons

National Workplace Mental Health Specialist Canadian Mental Health Association, National


According to the latest round of research from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the University of British Columbia, pandemic fatigue has set in, and Canadians are emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted. That includes workplaces. We have been hearing from organizations across the country that employees are struggling with their mental health, and burnout is on the rise. 

An employee’s mental health is more than an individual problem — it’s an organizational responsibility, and we’re seeing organizations who want to take on that responsibility. 

There are many ways to get there. Organizations can:

Create psychologically safe and healthy workplaces by training staff to have safe and supportive conversations and equipping them with the tools they need to take care of themselves. 

Lead with empathy and be honest and authentic with employees. Share your own experiences with workplace stress. It can help build trust and connection and will set the tone for making your people feel safe.

Next, let the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace guide you. It can help your workplace assess — and get past — the pitfalls. There are tips and tricks for doing that.

There are also training and tools in the marketplace to help employers make this happen. For instance, CMHA offers custom training and the Not Myself Today workplace program — two creative ways to move the workplace mental health needle. 

Investing in employee mental health is the right thing to do, but the benefits for both employee and employer go far beyond that. In psychologically safe workplaces, productivity goes up. Employees stay and thrive. And the workplace is a safer and better place to work. In these times of change, this could not be more on point. 

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