One of the strongest risk factors for suicide is depression, particularly if it’s untreated or poorly treated. Research on the workplace factors that contribute to poor mental health - in particular for men - was lacking.
Community Savings, with HeadsUpGuys, set out to change that.
In Canada, men
roughly 75% of
thoughts of suicide
or self-injury a few
times a week.
or active alcohol use
The report, led by HeadsUpGuys, a program of UBC, in partnership with Community Savings Credit Union, addresses the gap in research on workplace factors that contribute to poor mental health for men. It highlights the urgent need for stronger mental health support in workplaces.
While the report is based on responses from employees who identify as male, the recommended prevention strategies for supporting mental health in the workplace are applicable to all employees.
Special thanks to ILWU Members for study participation.
Read a summary of the research results in the
The full Men's Mental Health in the Workplace
report will give you extensive insight into the
You will receive an email shortly with access to the report.
Special thanks to ILWU Members for study participation.
Working people have fought long and hard for physical health and safety measures in the workplace. While most employers may now get a passing grade on physical safety, many are failing workers on mental health.
With this report, Community Savings Credit Union set out with HeadsUpGuys to both understand the current state of men’s mental health in Canada and research the contributing workplace factors.
This research uncovers truly alarming findings about the state of men’s mental health in the workplace and calls into action the urgent need for employers to do more to support their employees at work.
This report sets out actionable recommendations and key strategies for workplaces to support workers’ mental health. At Community Savings, we are committed to advocating for meaningful change in workplaces to ensure workers’ mental health is recognized in health and safety programs, just as workers and unions have advocated for physical health and safety at work. It is time for organizations to take responsibility for their employees’ well-being.
One step we are taking - in addition to our ongoing mental health programs - is to rename our ‘sick days’ to ‘health days’. A key theme in the findings of this report is the importance of talking about mental health at work. By re-naming sick days, we are working to re-define and re-frame for our employees what it means to take a day for health - mental or physical. We want mental health to be a part of the conversation.
We firmly believe that in order to create a more equitable and more prosperous BC, we must actively champion and support workers rights. Supporting workers rights by driving change to support mental health in the workplace has never been more important.
President & CEO, Community Savings Credit Union
All workers deserve a safe environment for their physical and mental health. The report identifies key actions employers should implement, from integrating mental health self-check tools into regular employee check-ins to training managers and supervisors to identify signs of distress. A full list of strategies is below.
Making fundamental systemic changes to
mitigate risk of negative outcomes occurring.
Make mental health and suicide prevention
health and safety priorities. Regularly promote mental health practices and make resources known to employees.
Provide mandatory training on workplace
bullying and harassment; Design, communicate, and implement zero-tolerance policies regarding bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Provide information sessions
on mental health topics and how to improve wellness. Consistently link mental health with wellness and safety programs.
Organize company/department-wide social events;
group-based stress-reduction activities at work/during work hours; provision of spaces in the office to facilitate social connection.
Increasing workers’ influence
on deadlines and deliverables; develop clear priorities; regular review of workloads; provide support and guidance around task management.
Provide flexible work arrangements
, if at all possible; emphasis on results and progress rather than hours logged; increase paid time off; leadership must model healthy work-life balance for staff to follow.
Instituting broad practices to identify and
respond to problems early on.
Detect early symptoms for depression
, anxiety, substance abuse and anger; integrate self-check tools into regular employee check-ups; training for managers/supervisors to identify signs of possible distress; leadership training focused on how to have conversations around mental health.
Develop plan of actions
(resources and supports to access) to address identified mental health challenges; provide leadership and staff with directory of local mental health services and resources; make provisions for counselling/therapy in health plan.
Promote resources like Crisis Services Canada
, BCCSA Mental Health Resources, Employee Assistance Programs; normalise help-seeking by encouraging workers to reach out for professional help when they’re struggling (create an expectation that that is what you do when you’re not feeling well).
Approaching employed when individuals become ill.
Direct affected workers
to specific mental health services and supports; provide paid time off for mental health reasons; offer flexible work arrangement to attend counselling appointments.
Develop an action plan
for recovery with affected workers; introduce on-site modifications to support them; leaders need regular check-ins with affected employees to help support their efforts.
At Community Savings, we are renaming our ‘sick days’ to ‘health days’. By re-naming sick days, we are re-defining for our employees what it means to take a day for your health - mental or physical. Every worker deserves to feel safe at work. We call on all employers to put mental health and safety first.
Know Who to Contact in a Crisis
In a crisis situation, call 911
if there is an immediate concern of a worker acting on their thoughts of suicide,
or help the worker reach out to the BC Crisis Centre (1-800-SUICIDE:
1-800-784-2433) for crisis counselling.