As National Mental Health Week begins, many workers – especially women, racialized workers, 2SLGBTQI+ workers, migrant workers and workers with disabilities – still face unacceptable threats and hazards to their mental health in the workplace. Every worker deserves workplaces that are safe, provide balanced workloads, and ensure the supports they require to be well at work.
Part of building psychologically healthy workplaces is preventing and addressing harassment and violence at work. Canada recently ratified the International Labour Organization C-190, the first global treaty that acknowledges the universal right to a world of work free from violence and harassment and establishes a clear framework for ending it. Governments should now create strong plans to implement it in every jurisdiction, including stepping up prevention efforts and appropriately supporting workers whose mental health is impacted by violence and harassment.
“As we transition from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians know that mental health is integral to overall health,” says Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “We must improve on supports built to date. Canada’s unions call on the federal government to immediately help expand the delivery of high-quality, accessible and publicly available mental health and substance use health services, such as prevention and treatment.”
Learn more about how unions can help workers take action on mental health and other disabilities by downloading the CLC’s Doing Things Differently: A Disability Rights at Work Handbook.