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The Role of Leadership

Unless senior leaders clearly support efforts to protect and enhance psychological health and safety, it is difficult to effect lasting positive change. Senior leaders who understand the importance of promoting mental health at work will send a clear message to all employees about the importance of these initiatives, allocate sufficient financial and human resources to ensure their success, demonstrate the organization’s commitment to change, and drive this change when challenges or barriers are encountered.

  1. Show senior leadership’s support of a mental well-being strategy.
  • Make the business case for mental well-being and strategically align to organizational priorities.

Resource: GWL Workplace Strategies for Mental Health  Making the Business Case

  • Ensure senior leadership is familiar with the legal and regulatory requirements and expectations related to workplace mental health.

Resource:  GWL Workplace Strategies for Mental Health 20 Questions for Leaders

  1. Demonstrate visible commitment of senior leadership to workplace mental well-being.
  • Hold an all-staff (in-person or virtual) meeting to announce your commitment to mental health and invite input on specific actions or an action plan.

Resource:  GWL Workplace Strategies for Mental Health Developing a Workplace Plan

  • Include the mental well-being of staff as part of leadership’s performance objectives.

            Resource:  Federal Public Service Workplace Mental Health Strategy


  1. Secure senior leadership’s support for establishing a mental well-being baseline and process to track progress for the organization.
  • Track the rates of absenteeism and / or Employee and Family Assistance Program use and what percentage of these may be related to mental well-being.
  • Track and benchmark progress by implementing an annual workplace assessment.

            Resource:  Guarding Minds at Work Assessment Resources


  1. Look for opportunities for senior leadership to shown their visible commitment to mental health in the workplace beyond their organization.
  • Participate in a Mental Health at Work Challenge.

Resource:  Excellence Canada’s Mental Health at Work Challenge

  • Apply for awards or recognition for your organization’s mental health strategies and impact.


Canada’s Top 100 Employers

Excellence Canada – Canada Awards for Excellence

Mindful Employer Canada – Mindful Employer Charter

Canada’s Safest Employer Awards

Employee Recommended Workplace Award

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