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Provincial grant for Canadian Mental Health Association

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:19 PST, Fri March 10, 2023

Employers will have access to more free online resources helping them build and maintain psychologically safe and healthy workplaces thanks to a $700,000 provincial grant to the B.C. division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA-BC).

“Everyone deserves to work in a safe and supportive environment” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Helping employers build mental health into the workplace will get people the support they need at work.”

The three-year grant allows CMHA-BC to expand BC’s Hub for Workplace Mental Health to include an interactive module to help employers:

  • better understand the importance of psychological safety in the workplace;
  • identify and remove barriers to employment; and
  • build skills that support the success of all employees, including those with mental illnesses and addictions

“CMHA-BC applauds the province’s continued leadership and investment in workplace mental health. The ongoing impact of complex stressors, including the pandemic and the changing context of work environments continues to affect workers and employers,” said Jonny Morris, chief executive officer, CMHA-BC. “This investment means we can now provide enhanced resources to employers and workers focused on more complex and severe mental-health and substance-use problems in the workplace. With the right supports and options, people living with mental illness and substance-use-related illnesses can thrive in employment and, ultimately, their career.”

The grant will also expand the hub’s training and coaching program to include personalized guidance on workplace psychological health and safety best practices, such as how to modify or adapt employers’ existing policies, processes and practices to ensure they do not serve as barriers to mental health and wellness.

BC’s Hub for Workplace Mental Health was originally tailored to people working in tourism, hospitality and social services, who were significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this grant, CMHA-BC will leverage the hub’s existing infrastructure to expand its focus, aiming to help people working in all sectors who want to foster more inclusive workplaces. 

The $700,000 provincial grant to expand BC’s Hub for Workplace Mental Health comes from the 2022-23 Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. Under this agreement, the province receives more than $300 million each year to fund employment services and supports, mainly through the 102 WorkBC centres throughout the province.

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