MP Longfield Co-Hosts Event with Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

February 5, 2019

MHCC Chamber Photo

Yesterday on Parliament Hill, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce equipped Parliamentarians with the tools to champion workplace mental health.

Workplace mental health is a universal concern, with more than 500,000 Canadians missing work each week due to a mental health problem or illness, costing the economy more than $51 billion per year.

MPs Lloyd Longfield from the Liberals, Marilyn Gladu from the Conservatives and Don Davies from the NDP co-hosted a joint event with the MHCC and the Chamber to launch the 338 Conversations 2018 campaign. The hope is to spark conversations about workplace mental health in all 338 federal ridings.

Members of Parliament and Senators are being asked to join forces with their local chamber of commerce to foster dialogue around workplace mental health and encourage organizations to take steps to safeguard the psychological safety of their workers, including implementing of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard). A world first, the Standard is a set of voluntary guidelines, tools, and resources that provides guidance on how to promote mental health and prevent psychological harm due to workplace factors.

Toolkits were provided to parliamentarians to help organize meetings in their communities about making workplaces more psychologically sound — not only for the one in five people in Canada living with a mental illness, but for the five out of five who strive to be productive and effective in their jobs.

Quotes

“A mentally healthy workplace can improve productivity and profitability, strengthen relationships among staff and clients, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and enhance an organization’s reputation as an employer. The support of Parliamentarians’ and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to workplace mental health makes it clear that the days of limiting occupational health and safety to physical health are over.”

—The Hon. Michael Wilson, P.C., C.C., Board Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada

“Addressing the challenges around mental health in the workplace makes for more productive businesses, up to a 30% boost in productivity in some cases. All our member businesses can, and should, get behind this important initiative. That’s why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will be implementing the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and encouraging its entire network of 450 chambers of commerce to do the same.”

The Hon. Perrin Beatty, P.C., O.C., President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“I look forward to working with my friends in the House of Commons and Chamber of Commerce network to provide support for Canadian businesses, and more importantly the people personally affected by mental health challenges.  This will build on the work being done through partnerships such as the Guelph Family Health Team, CMHA Guelph, and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce but also sharing best practices across Canada. ”

Lloyd Longfield, MP Guelph, Co-Sponsor, Liberal Party of Canada

“A healthy workplace that allows employees to balance life and work, is free from harassment and bullying and is filled with positive supports is a key to improved mental health, employee relationships and productivity. I am pleased to be one of the 338 conversations happening and am committed to ensuring a healthy workplace exists for my employees and myself.”

Marilyn Gladu, MP Sarnia – Lambton, Co-sponsor, Conservative Party of Canada

“There is still a long way to go before mental health care is funded on par with physical health, and in proportion to the burden of illness. Too many people in Canada still cannot access the mental health care they need, when and where they need it. Simply put, more of the same won’t work. We need a comprehensive plan and sustained support from the federal government to end wait-lists and improve service delivery.”

Don Davies, MP Vancouver – Kingsway, New Democratic Party

Quick Facts

  • More than 500,000 Canadians miss work each day due to a mental health problem or illness, which costs the economy more than $51 billion annually.
  • Adults spend 60% of their waking hours at work.
  • Downloads of the Standard continue at an impressive rate, with over 40,000 unique downloads since its release in 2013.
  • Organizations implementing the Standard are seeing results:
  • Nav Canada, a national air traffic control company with thousands of workers in high stress jobs, lowered its short-term disability rates by 20% and long-term disability claims by 10%. It also reported a 100% return-to-work rate for those off due to mental health reasons, with 95% of individuals demonstrating a sustained recovery.
  • Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto had a 7% reduction in overall health care costs over four years and a decrease in days absent from more than 10 in 2008 to fewer than seven in 2014.

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