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Health-care organizations commit to improving mental health

Ensuring a respectful culture, adopting national psychological safety standard among initiatives
| www.cos-mag.com
psychological health and safety

HealthCareCAN, a national voice for health-care organizations and hospitals across Canada, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada are committing to improve psychological safety in health care. 

"The psychological health and safety of the professionals at our member facilities is imperative to providing their patients with quality care," said Bill Tholl, president and CEO of HealthCareCAN. "I whole-heartedly support this initiative and encourage all health-care organizations to become signatories."

The Declaration of Commitment to Psychological Health and Safety in Healthcare, championed by the By Health, For Health Collaborative, publicly commits health organizations to protecting the psychological health and safety of their staff and to improving their work environments by agreeing to: Take action in alignment with the principles of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace; recognize the value of their staff's psychological health and safety and its interdependence with patient safety, and that creating a psychologically safe work environment benefits both patients and staff; cultivate a workplace culture that respects their staff's needs including, but not limited to, their psychological health and safety; and be leaders and champions for advancing workplace psychological health and safety.

Organizations that have already signed the declaration, including Health PEI, Menno Place, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Peterborough Regional Health Centre and Michael Garron Hospital, have stated that doing so is in the best interest of their respective organizations.

"Creating a work environment that promotes good mental health is socially responsible, cost effective, and helps attract and keep good employees," said Katrina Philopoulos, manager of occupational health safety and wellness at the Nova Scotia Health Authority.  

The collaborative envisions health-care workplaces as leaders and role models in providing psychologically healthy and safe work environments in Canada. In partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and HealthCareCAN, the collaborative has developed a two-year action plan to put this vision into action through mentoring and knowledge exchange, the development of tools and resources and system transformation.

The Declaration of Commitment to Psychological Health and Safety in Healthcare is one of the actions in this work plan.

"Psychological health and safety at work is revolutionizing how we prevent, treat and accommodate mental health problems and illnesses in the workplace. As someone who has worked extensively on the frontlines of healthcare, I can say with certainty this shift is needed. I urge every healthc-are organization in the country to sign onto this bold action," said Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

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