Tackling Workplace Mental Health: How your OH&S Committee can help

Autumn is a transition season, and with the days growing shorter, the leaves falling off the trees, and a long winter approaching, many workplaces begin to see shifts in their employee’s behaviors. A normally upbeat manager becomes withdrawn and quiet. A star employee starts coming in late and forgetting about projects. Tempers flare and previously cohesive teams fall apart and behind on deadlines. These behaviors can lead to a decrease in productivity, engagement and creativity, leaving an employer wondering: What can we do?

Among the solutions: tapping into the in-house expertise of the Occupational Health & Safety Committee. As the “face” of safety within the workplace, this group is ideally positioned to act as champions of mental health. They can help the employer reduce stigma and pinpoint psychological hazards in the workplace.

OH&S Committees are well suited to root out workplace mental health factors. For instance, they conduct workplaces inspections, participate in investigations, and make recommendations to management about safety issues. It may require putting on a different lens, but with a little creativity, the committee can integrate workplace mental health into these tasks.

In addition, workers may feel more comfortable talking to a committee member about a problem, such as “I’m really feeling stressed,” “My supervisor is always picking on me,” or “I’m frustrated that I have no role in the decisions that are made.” Committee members can also help identify the mental health impacts of safety-related issues. For instance, “Is the worker with the exertion injury able to do his job without feeling frustrated or stressed?”

How Service Hospitality can help:

Some proactive workplaces and OH&S Committees are already incorporating mental health into their workplace duties. If you are not one of these workplaces already, Service Hospitality can help you realize opportunities for mental health integration with a new training course that educates groups on integrating mental health into existing safety management system components.

The Integrating Mental Health into your Safety Management System course covers:

  • Definitions relating to psychological health and safety

  • The employer’s legal duty to prevent psychological harm to workers and the consequences of not meeting due diligence requirements

  • An overview of the CSA National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

  • Preparing for, and implementing, psychological components into the existing Safety Management System

  • Evaluating and reviewing your Safety Management System

The landscape of psychological health and safety is continuously changing – this is why Service Hospitality offers free membership to its Mental Health Best Practice Group. This group meets 3-4 times a year to discuss trending topics and emerging strategies amongst like-minded individuals within the Service and Hospitality industry. 

For more information on training, joining the Mental Health Best Practice Group, or other information and resources, contact Service Hospitality today.

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