Taking Action on Workplace Stress

Some stress can be motivational, but constant feelings of pressure, worry, or tension at work can have a profound effect on our physical and mental health, and the performance of organizations.

Mental health problems and illnesses are estimated to account for nearly 30% of short- and long-term disability claims in Canada.

Sairanen, S., Matzanke, D., & Smeall, D. (2011). The business case: Collaborating to help employees maintain their mental well-being. Healthcare Papers, 11, 78–84.

Psychosocial hazards

Workplace factors that have the potential to cause psychological or physical harm if not adequately eliminated or controlled

Outside factors – financial, family, health, community - can also impact workers

What employers can do

What workers can do

Use a framework such as the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace aka "The Standard"

  1. Get senior leadership on board, involve key stakeholders, and identify a champion to help advance activities
  2. Develop a policy statement and identify gaps around psychological health and safety
  3. Analyze results and pick the key issues
  4. Implement controls to reduce the risk of psychological harm
  5. Evaluate and decide whether to continue the current course of action or explore new initiatives