On Mental Health Day, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is calling on all levels of government to address the growing mental health crisis in Canada.
In an open letter to decision makers, PSAC recommends a series of actions to address work overload, negative work environment, harassment, poor work-life balance and job insecurity.
"Depression, anxiety, and chronic stress in the workplace are reaching epidemic proportions, yet nothing is being done to explore the root causes of these high disability rates." said John Gordon, President of the PSAC.
In the federal public service alone, half of the long term disability claims in 2010 were due to mental health disabilities.
"With job cuts already starting in the federal public sector, the situation is going to get worse. The government cannot ignore the repercussions of spending cuts on the well being of workers," warned Gordon, "Job instability undermines employee resilience and creates an ongoing sense of uncertainty and a psychologically unhealthy workplace."
"We call on governments and employers to recognize the importance of prevention and accommodation in the workplace and take a serious look at the recommendations we are suggesting," concluded Gordon.
Many workplace policies focus on the individual and fail to address the obligation of employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace.
To address this gap, the PSAC has developed a new series of tools to assist employers and workers navigate around mental health issues in the workplace.
Download mental health tools in the workplace at www.psac.com/mentalhealth
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