Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

A healthy and safe workplace includes both your physical and your psychological health and safety. You rely on your employers for guidance and support on the job, especially if it's your first one. You and your employer both have important roles to play when it comes to creating a workplace where you feel respected, valued and supported.

Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace: Supporting Your Young Workers

As an employer, you can develop a culture that prioritizes psychological health and safety. We encourage you to use this resource to help support the psychological health and safety of the young workers at your organization. Note that we do not suggest employers serve as mental health experts, nor does this resource replace mental health care. If someone is in immediate danger or needs urgent medical support, call 911. Free and confidential mental health support is also a call away.

About Young Workers (aged 15-24)

  • They are stressed. Teens and young adults may be overwhelmed due to a variety of factors, and engaging in work - which may be new and unfamiliar - can increase stress. The impact this can have on their psychological health and safety may be poorly understood by young workers. In fact, the rates of psychological distress are higher for young people aged 15-24 than for any other age group1.
  • They may be unsure of where to find support. Young workers may not know the processes and procedures to ask questions, express concerns, or seek support related to psychological health and safety. This could be because they are new to the workplace, are uncomfortable talking to authority, or have precarious work.
  • They want their workplace to take psychological health and safety seriously. Having access to support for psychological health is the number one workplace benefit young workers want, after a retirement savings plan. Although the ability to discuss psychological health and safety at work is something they value, what they really want to see is action in the way of policies and benefits.

Consider each of these factors when supporting your young workers. It's important that you demonstrate the importance of prioritizing psychological health and safety, ensure they know who to approach when they have concerns, and consider the resources and benefits you can offer to help your young workers feel safe and supported at work.

1 Youth Mental Health Stats in Canada - Youth Mental Health Canada

Guide for Supporting your Young Workers

Investigate the following areas to see how your workplace's processes and procedures can support your young workers' psychological health and safety. Although this list is not exhaustive, it is a good starting point to help you begin your journey. Learn more about your important roles.


Leadership: Commit to organizational leadership to enhance psychological health and safety through workplace interventions.

  • Incorporate psychological health and safety strategies into your overall occupational health and safety management system
  • Senior leaders are engaged and committed to supporting psychological health and safety
  • Endorse a wellness committee/psychological health and safety champion/community of practice
  • Evaluate your workplace's psychological health and safety interventions by selecting key performance metrics and determining data collection methods


Assess: Assess the psychological health of your organization. Identify and investigate potential psychological hazards and take action to mitigate risks.

  • Survey your workers using a tool (e.g. Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, StressAssess, the SCARF model) that provides a risk report of strengths and areas for improvement
  • Create a plan to address and reduce psychological hazards in your workplace based on the survey results


Prevention: Implement strategies that reduce psychosocial harm and promote psychological health and safety in alignment with the recommendations of theNational Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard).

  • Incorporate the Standard into your health and safety management system
  • Support work-home balance and provide accommodations
  • Provide self-care tools and resources (e.g., workbooks, webinars, websites)
  • Provide employee and family assistance programs (EFAP)

Social Support

Social Support: Develop programs for young workers to foster connection with peers and leadership in the workplace, and to encourage communication and support.

  • A peer support program provides a space for peers to connect about work-related stressors
  • Manager/supervisor mentorship supports professional development, learning and growth


Culture: Facilitate a psychologically safe culture to ensure all workers feel safe and welcome.

  • Implement and maintain a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, harassment, and violence Encourage young workers to report to management about any concerns, issues or incidents.
  • Provide tools and resources to show younger workers how to report

Training and Supports

Training and Supports: Provide training to workplaces and workers about fair and equitable treatment of young workers.

  • Respectful workplace policy including workplace violence and harassment training
  • Return-to-work needs
  • Crisis response planning
  • Stress management training/resiliency and coping skills training/self-assessment techniques
  • Tips for talking about mental health, and dispelling mental health myths and stigma

Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace: A Shared Responsibility

Your employer is responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace, and as a worker, you have a responsibility to be ready to work, physically, mentally and socially. Learn more about your important roles.

Mental Health at Work Infographic and its text description

Infographic: Mental Health at Work
[Text version of the Infographic]