One of the biggest challenges for workplaces today is achieving a balance between the demands of work and employees' mental health and wellness. Workplace stress is a serious health and safety hazard that can have devastating effects. Creating safe and equitable working conditions, in which safety and wellness issues are taken seriously and promptly addressed, means a more productive work environment. When a workplace prioritizes work/life balance, everyone benefits. That's why OHCOW offers tools, webinars and other resources to help employers address the crucial issue of workplace stress, and employees to discover how they can advocate for better conditions. Working together, both can recognize and manage workplace psychosocial factors and ensure a supportive and healthy workplace environment, while allowing businesses to thrive.
Workplace Mental Health
Data from Statistics Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada presents a picture of the experience of working adults and their concerns for psychological health and safety in the workplace.
In response to a poll administered in 2019, almost half of workers reported experiencing offensive behaviours and almost a third reported symptoms of burnout.
of Ontario workers rated the psychological health and safety climate at work as “healthy/supportive” or “good” (9% rated it as “poor” or “toxic” – still a lot of workers!).
of Ontario workers experienced one or more offensive behaviours (sexual harassment (12%), threats of violence (16%), physical violence (12%), bullying (29%) and/or discrimination (19%) at least a few times in the past year at work.
of Ontario workers responded that they experienced symptoms of burnout “all of the time” or “a large part of the time”.
MAYDAY, MAYDAY: Workplace Mental Health Webinars
MAYDAY, MAYDAY is an internationally recognized cry for help, and Mayday itself celebrates the contribution of workers the world over, both of which apply to the critically important subject of Workplace Mental Health, especially as we all strive to cope with the impact of the current global pandemic. This five week series held annually in May, draws speakers from across Ontario and beyond to highlight and share solutions to Workplace Mental Health, Stress and Injury Prevention with consideration for both the new, and (hopefully soon) restored, “normal”.
“… there is a growing movement among researchers and practitioners in occupational health psychology to have a more integrated and comprehensive approach to workplace health. This approach aims to have a balance between prevention of illness at work and promotion of well-being and health by enhancement of strengths, resources and optimal functioning in the workplace.”
MAYDAY, MAYDAY: Webinars Addressing Workplace Mental Health
OHCOW practitioners host experts on wide ranging topics dealing with the workplace hazards of toxic environments and stress on workers' mental health, and ways to instigate change and alleviate the harm.
COVID-19 and the Toll on Workers’ Mental Health
John Oudyk, OHCOW Occupational Hygienist discusses the results of the Public Health Agency of Canada survey, outlining some of the contributing risk factors to individuals mental health, and then ties in the missing link – workplace risk factors.
Preventing Workplace Mental Harm
Feeling overwhelmed and burnt out from work? You are not alone! Let’s talk about it and find out what can be done to assess the psychosocial risk factors at your workplace and help reduce workplace mental stress.
Union-based Initiatives to Protect the Mental Health of Young Public Transport Workers
This report describes the impact on the emotional and mental health caused by the COVID shutdown of young public transport workers in seven countries, and actions for containment, support and negotiation that their unions implemented.
A Survey of the Psychosocial Factors in Your Workplace
StressAssess is a free, evidence-based online survey tool designed to assist workplaces in identifying psychosocial hazards that can lead to stress and mental injury. It provides suggestions and pathways to address issues, and thus prevent harm.
What are the problems plaguing many of todays workplaces? Excessive demands. Risk of violence. No control over workload. Lack of support. Stressors at work - also called psychosocial hazards - can affect your mental and physical health. This survey is designed to help you identify these psychosocial factors at your organization so you can take steps to improve the psychosocial climate in your workplace. It comes in two versions — for workplaces and individuals.
StressAssess Workplace Survey Tool
A survey of the psychosocial factors in your workplace, based on the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) and has been adapted to address concerns within the Canadian workplace.
How is StressAssess used in the Workplace?
Workplace Approaches and Solutions: Case Studies
The Following webinars are from the 2021 Mayday, Mayday series. They describe case studies with first person accounts of the use of StressAssess survey and similar surveys to address psychosocial hazards in workplaces.
Algoma Family Services
May 20, 2021
John Oudyk, OHCOW Occupational Hygienist, hosts this discussion with two workers from Algoma Family Services, Sheilagh Ewing and Lisa Salvini. As social workers, they deal with trauma on a daily basis. They talk about how the use of the StressAssess survey helped their staff cope with stress on the job.
Approaches and Solutions at Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
May 20, 2021
Carrie Fletcher, CAMH VP of People and Experience, and Carol Mundley, OPSEU local co-chair and CAMH nurse, along with other employees, discuss physical and psychological health and safety at Toronto's mental health hospital.
Use of the Mini Mental Injury Toolkit (MIT), including Lucy's Story
May 20, 2021
Patricia Phillips hosts John Oudyk, OHCOW and Terry Szymanski, Health and Safety officer at OPSEU, Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire and OHCOW's Mental Injury toolkit are discussed.
Workplace Perspectives on 3 Occasions of the Use of the Survey
May 31, 2021
A Spark to Action: OPSEU Health and Safety Official Terry Szymanski and Tara, a stewart in an OPSEU local, discuss the implementation of a survey at an organization in Ontario that had recently become unionized. Workers described a toxic work environment that needed change.
Building on Successive Surveys: A Worthwhile Investment
May 31, 2022
Enzo Garantano, President of the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, delivers a presentation, "Building on Successful Surveys: A Worthwhile Investment." He describes the benefits of a psychosocial survey addressing stressors in the workplace.
StressAssess Action Templates
The StressAssess survey follow up needs to be planned, transparent and practiced. These MSWord templates are based on experiences helping several workplaces run the survey. They are easy to use and will help you plan your survey timeline, summarize your results, organize your recommendations and communicate them all to your staff.
If you are using StressAssess to run a psychosocial survey of your workplace you will want these templates! The StressAssess survey follow up needs to be planned, transparent and practiced. These MSWord templates, created by Terri Szymanski of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), are based on her experiences helping several workplaces run the survey. They are easy to use and will help you plan your survey timeline, summarize your results, organize your recommendations and communicate them all to your staff.
Mental Injury Toolkit (MIT)
An Introduction and Action Guide Created by Workers for Workers
This 6-part Guide and Resource Toolkit provides workers with a basic understanding and place to start when learning about work-related stress. It provides definitions, common causes of mental distress, legal frameworks (focusing on Ontario), possible actions to take, and resources.
Preventing Mental Harm in the Workplace: A Reference Guide
A Guide designed for workers and managers who are interested in assessing psychosocial hazards in the workplace, and joint health and safety committees and representatives identify issues in an anonymous way (not associated with personalities).
Working During a Pandemic
PANDEMIC EXPERIENCE and IMPACT
Two surveys were conducted by OHCOW during the COVID Pandemic, one specifically looking at the experiences of healthcare workers, and one for workers generally.
More Relevant Webinars
Preventing Mental Injury
May 15, 2017
Valerie Wolfe hosts John Oudyk, OHCOW Occupational Hygienist, in this discussion about preventing mental injury.
Workplace Mental Health Success Strategies from the Trenches
August 27, 2019
Valerie Wolfe hosts Terri Symanski, OPSEU, about addressing psychosocial issues in the workplace.
Preventing Mental Injury using a Survey tool
June 27, 2019
Valerie Wolfe hosts John Oudyk, OHCOW
Let's Walk the Talk - Tools for Workplace Mental Health
January 8, 2021
John Oudyk and Darryl Stephenson, about levels of prevention, communication in the workplace, and more.
Workplace Bullying & Mental Health
May 19, 2020
Dr Karen Harlos, University of Winnipeg, on the impact of bullying and workplace violence.
Mental Health Support and Staying Connected
September 8, 2020
A discussion of mental health supports, for foreign workers and workers in the agricultural sector.
OHCOW offers a variety of services that you or your workplace can utilize
in dealing with work-related injuries or illnesses.
From an information/inquiry service to ergonomic assessments to medical diagnostic services, and education and outreach programs
to group services and research services we are here to help.
We also offer advocate, health professional, self, and joint health and safety representative and committee referrals.