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MindsMatter Action: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

With October featuring Mental Illness Awareness Week, World Mental Health Day and Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month, better workplace mental health is top of mind for many organizations. CivicAction reached out to organizations to see how they’re taking action. Read what the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is doing in this Q&A with their Mental Health and Wellness Team.

Tell us about a change your organization is taking to improve workplace mental health.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has made widespread quantifiable advancements to improve workplace mental health. Some of the key initiatives that the organization has taken include:

  • Attained Gold level certification in 2019 from Excellence Canada in “Mental Health at Work”

  • Developed the WSIB’s first Mental Health in the Workplace Policy

  • Trained 100% of all WSIB People Leaders in the Queen’s Morneau Shepell Workplace Mental Health Leadership certificate program

  • Increased psychological health benefits to $3000 per calendar year

  • Implemented multiple front line staff trainings including Respectful Workplace Training for all employees

  • Launched the provincial Wellness Ambassador program with staff representation from every divisional office

  • Numerous wellness initiatives including daily meditation sessions, lunch and learns on different topics from nutrition to financial wellness

  • Formalized the Peer Support Program across the province

How is this change positively affecting your workplace culture or your employees’ attitudes to mental health?

The WSIB has been on a continuous journey to becoming a leader in physical and mental health and safety. Our employees support our various programs and initiatives, and we see an increase in awareness of mental health across our organization. Our leadership team is a key driver in promoting the WSIB’s culture of a safe and caring workplace. We continue to work with our leadership team and partners to promote good mental health; provide support to employees experiencing mental health issues; and the importance of reducing stigma. We strive to integrate mental health into our daily business practices and processes.

Are there plans for more actions to come? 

The WSIB’s focus has shifted from a reactive to a preventative approach. This year’s mental health Speaker’s Series focuses on “resiliency”, and we have partnered with LifeSpeak to provide video presentations to staff on topics ranging from Stress Management and Resilience, Thriving through Change, Addiction, Better Sleep, Financial Health, and Relationships.

This year we are developing programs under the psychological factors of Civility and Respect in the Workplace and Employee Recognition and Reward by continuing across-the-province training in respect and civility, and launching our new WSIB recognition and awards program for our people. Our mental health and wellness initiatives will continue to drive forward our efforts to reduce stigma, increase awareness, and enhance knowledge and skills so that all our people can be their best selves at work.

What does good workplace mental health look like to you?

Aligned with the WSIB’s corporate strategy, good workplace mental health is where all employees have the opportunity to thrive, and where people with mental illness can work, recover and remain productive members of the community.

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