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 Mental Health in the Workplace


On May 31, 2012 the Government of British Columbia passed Bill 14 which addressed revisions to the Workers Compensation Act as it relates to compensation for mental disorders. The amended legislation applies to all decisions made by WorkSafeBC and the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal on or after July 1, 2012. Bill 14 states that a worker is entitled to compensation where a mental disorder is a reaction to

(i) one or more traumatic events arising out of and in the course of a worker's employment, or

(ii) a significant work-related stressor, including bullying or harassment, or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors, arising out of and in the course of the worker's employment.

In either case, to be compensable the worker's mental disorder must be diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist as a condition described in the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and not be caused by a decision of the worker's employer relating to the worker's employment.

External resources

The following links list tools, publications, and other resources to help promote mentally healthy workplaces. These resources may not meet all the requirements for health and safety in British Columbia. Please check the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and related materials for specific WorkSafeBC requirements. These resources were not developed by WorkSafeBC.

Mental Health Commission of Canada -

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is funded by Health Canada under a 10-year mandate (2007-2017). Along with other initiatives, the MHCC is creating Canada's first mental health strategy, working to reduce stigma, and advancing knowledge exchange in mental health. Their resources include an Action Guide for Employers (PDF 774 kb) to address mental health in the workplace.

Healthy Minds @ Work -

Developed by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, this website provides information to help workplaces increase their understanding and recognition of mental health issues at work, address existing issues, develop and implement approaches to promote mental health at work, and find resources and tools on a range of related topics.

Mental Health Works -

Mental Health Works is a nationally available program of the Canadian Mental Health Association that builds capacity within Canadian workplaces to effectively address the many issues related to mental health in the workplace.

WorkSafe Victoria, Australia -

WorkSafe Victoria provides information for employers, employees and health and safety representatives about preventing stress in the workplace.

Health and Safety Executive, Great Britain -

The HSE provides information and resources about work-related stress including what it is, suggestions for how individuals can deal with personal issues, roles for different people within an organization, business case studies and more.

Guarding Minds @ Work -

Guarding Minds @ Work is an evidence-based strategy developed by the Consortium for Organizational Mental Healthcare and funded by the Great West-Life Assurance Company to help employers protect and promote psychological safety and health in the workplace. It provides resources that employers can use to identify and address factors known to affect individual and organizational health.

Workplace Strategies for Mental Health -

The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (established by the Great-West Life Assurance Company) developed this website, which provides information including facts and figures, assessing risks and returns from a business perspective, prevention and promotion strategies, and intervention and accommodation approaches.

Information on mental health services at WorkSafeBC.


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