The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) and the Public Service Commission today, Oct. 3, officially opened the Office of Workplace Mental Health.
The office will provide confidential navigation service to help employees and managers access the mental health and wellness resources and supports they need. The office will also help leaders and managers create psychologically healthy and safe workplaces. Navigators do not directly provide employees with counselling or crisis intervention.
Services will be available to all civil service employees including union (NSGEU, Canadian Union of Public Employees and Crown attorneys) and non-union employees. Three mental health navigators will be located throughout the province.
“Nova Scotia is a leader in workplace mental health and is setting a positive example for other provinces and territories,” said Louise Bradley, president and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada. “This partnership is laying the foundation for other provinces and territories to improve psychological health and safety in their public service.”
Nova Scotia was the first province to adopt the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The standard, the first of its kind in the world, is a set of voluntary guidelines, tools and resources to help organizations promote mental health and prevent psychological harm at work.
The standard provides direction with:
- identifying psychological hazards in the workplace
- assessing and controlling workplace risks associated with hazards that cannot be eliminated, such as stress due to organizational change or reasonable job demands
- implementing practices that support and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace
- growing a culture that promotes psychological health and safety in the workplace
- implementing measurement and reviewing systems to ensure sustainability
This initiative is funded from the Employment Insurance rebate that the province receives from Service Canada, which must be used for employee benefits.
For further information about the Office of Workplace Mental Health, visit https://novascotia.ca/office-of-workplace-mental-health/ .