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CAMH Adopting National Standard to Create Mentally Healthy Workplace

January 16, 2013 (Toronto) – CAMH is the first hospital to adopt the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s new National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

The standard focuses on employee mental illness prevention and mental health promotion by considering the hazards and their related risks that may currently exist in workplace policies, processes, and procedures.  

“At CAMH we are well aware of the importance of creating a psychologically healthy workplace and want to really ‘walk the walk’ as an employer,” says CAMH President and CEO, Dr. Catherine Zahn.  This new standard will be a benchmark that CAMH will use to determine where to make improvements and how to measure our progress.”

CAMH is one of five organizations across Canada that will be the first to implement the National Standard.

“Creating a mentally healthy workplace is a priority for CAMH,” says Dr. Zahn. “We are working to continually improve patient care and we are equally committed to raising the bar for staff mental health.  In our case, the commitments are inseparable.”

The new standard aligns closely with psychological health and safety initiatives currently underway at CAMH and will be integrated into existing frameworks such as occupational health and safety programs and human resources strategies.

"The Ontario Nurses' Association at CAMH welcomes the release of National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace,” says Danielle Larmand, President, Ontario Nurses Association Local 054.  “We look forward to partnering with CAMH to make positive changes that benefit our staff and ultimately our clients." 

“This is an excellent opportunity moving forward at CAMH, says Nancy Pridham, President, OPSEU Local 500. “OPSEU will be engaged in this process adding our voice to this partnership.”

“Creating a psychologically safe work environment contributes to a just culture and better patient care,” says Dr. Zahn.  “And with the economic burden of mental illness in Canada estimated at over $50 billion a year, it makes good business sense to ensure every reasonable effort is being made to protect the mental health of our employees.” 

To view a copy of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, visit the Mental Health Commission website at www.mentalhealthcommission.ca

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.  Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, CAMH is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit www.camh.ca.

For further information please contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations,        416-595-6015 or by email at media@camh.ca

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