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Why work stress prevention is important for employers
According to the Canadian Community Health Survey in 2007 and 2008, 30% of the working population in Hamilton say that work is quite a bit stressful or extremely stressful on most days.
The workplace can be a strong contributor to mental wellbeing, giving people the opportunity to feel productive and achieve their potential. It can also be a stressful environment that contributes to mental health problems and illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. With most adults spending more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else, and with many youth holding at least part-time jobs, addressing issues of stress at work is important.
What employers can do to prevent work-related stress
Employers can reduce stressful working conditions through strategic direction, policies and supportive environments. It is not about assessing an individual employee’s mental health, rather it is about considering the impact of workplace processes, policies and interactions on the psychological health and safety of all employees. Solutions that address the organization and design of work itself, combined with helping employees address stressors directly, works best.
How your workplace can help to reduce work-related stress
Use a workplace-wide approach and/or policies
Here are some ways you can incorporate a workplace-wide approach and policies for work stress prevention:
- Adopt the voluntary National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Standard includes guidelines and tools to:
- Identify and eliminate hazards in the workplace that pose a risk of psychological harm to workers
- Assess and control the risks in the workplace associated with hazards that cannot be eliminated
- Implement structures and practices that support and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace
- Foster a culture that promotes psychological health and safety in the workplace
- Provide training and support to managers and leaders in the workplace. View presentations and materials for facilitating discussion around a psychologically healthy and safe workplace
- Use Guarding Minds @ Work resources to assess and take action on factors affecting your workplace psychological health and safety as well as evaluate the impact of your action plan.
Develop supportive environments
Here are some ways you can develop supportive environments for work stress prevention:
- Promote your workplace Employee and Family Assistance program so employees know where they can get help.
- Provide information about community resources for employees such as the Mental Health Helpline.
- Use Healthy Minds @ Work for information on recognizing and understanding mental health issues at work and developing and implementing mental health promotion programs.
For more information about healthy workplaces, contact:
Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext. 3634
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