York University’s Health Leadership & Learning Network (HLLN) will offer a new certificate developed around a new national standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace.
The Psychological Health & Safety Certificate, which will be offered for five days over seven weeks beginning Jan. 18, 2016, is designed to support implementation of the new voluntary standard. The course will focus on creating a psychologically safer workplace, improving mental health in the workplace and preventing known risks in the workplace.
The certificate addresses psychological health and safety as the “new frontier” in occupational health, and examines issues around employer liability in workplace psychological health.
“The standard was designed to address the fact that employers really don’t have any organized way of responding to the numerous threats they face from the law … in regards to their liability to mental health safety in the workplace,” said course instructor and author of the original standard proposed in 2009, Martin Shain, S.J.D.
Shain, who currently holds academic appointment at the School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, said employers generally don’t know what they can be held liable for in a mental health safety framework, and it’s not unusual to see damages awarded in the millions.
This certificate, he said, will “certainly put you in a lower risk category in terms of liability.”
Though the standard is voluntary, it does shine a light on the significance of mental health safety in the workplace and it is the first Canadian standard that ventures into the field of psychological hazards.
It is the result of a collaboration between the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).
The course is designed for employers and employees at all levels, but would be of specific interest to professionals in human resources, occupational health and safety, and employee relations.
During the five-day course, participants will learn: the key concepts of the standard; how to implement the standard; factors that promote and detract from psychological safety in the workplace; the legal, social and business landscapes supporting mental health and safety; the tools to assess and address risks; and more.
Instructors of the certificate include Shain; Amanda Beaman (PhD, C.Psych), who runs her own practice in Vaughan, Ont. and works as a staff psychologist on a family health team; and Ann Morgan, a CMHA-certified psychological health and safety advisor, who is a recognized leader in the field of workplace mental health.
For more on this course, or to register, visit hlln.info.yorku.ca/psychological-health-and-safety-certificate.