Mental Injury Prevention

This guide and resource kit will provide workers a basic understanding and a place to start to learn about workplace stress and what to do about it. The guide gives definitions, common causes of mental distress, legal frameworks (focusing on Ontario), possible actions to take, and resources available. It is an introduction and action guide created by workers for workers.

Click on Measure Workplace Stress App to access download information for a smartphone App that lets you answer the MIT questionnaire and measure your level of stress.

Note: Click headings for content.

Introduction: Worker Call to Action

Part 1 — Why Should We Care?

Workers and employers are busy enough, so why should anyone take action to deal with either the causes of or effects of workplace stress? Well, workers care because workplace factors can cause, contribute to, or worsen our mental distress, which may affect our physical or mental health. Employers care because they want their workers to be well, because when workers are not well the business is affected.

Part 2 — “Workplace Stress”: Assumptions, Terminology, and Approaches

What does workplace stress mean? Let’s clarify some assumptions, words, and approaches to workplace stress.

Part 3 — What Are Other Jurisdictions Doing?

There is growing attention on addressing workplace stress in Canada and across the world.

Part 4 — What Are My Rights And Legal Protections? (Focus on Ontario)

In general, legal protections for workers fall into four broad areas, fair treatment at work, protection of health and safety, duty to accommodate and income replacement.

Part 5 — Workplace Action Plan

Work and workers are all different, but no matter how different they are, it is possible for workers to take some steps to understand and address the causes of mental distress at work. This section provides a worker, JHSC or Union with tools to address the prevention of mental injuries in their workplaces.

About the MIT Survey Tool:

  • How we chose the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ), click here
  • To access the survey materials, click here 
  • For a copy of the online survey
  • To access - MIT Video series click here
  • To see how the COPSOQ survey would be used in a workplace, click here

Part 6 — Resources

There are literally thousands of resources available about workplace stress. We’ve selected some online resources, articles, and books for your reference. Please note that this list is not exclusive, nor do we have copyright of any of these resources.

For the complete mental injury prevention resource, click here 

These tools are not clinical diagnostic tools. They are not meant to diagnose medical or psychological conditions or to be used by a physician to these ends. These tools are designed to identify problems that may exist within the workplace and provide possible avenues to address them.

This resource kit and tools are provided with a focus on the Ontario jurisdiction – workers in other provinces or in federally regulated workplaces should refer to their own legal framework.

To report a problem, ask a question or to comment on these materials, please email taversa@opseu.org

Talk to us on 1-877-817-0336 toll-free or contact us online