About Guarding Minds at Work

Guarding Minds at Work is a unique and free, comprehensive set of resources designed to protect and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace.

Guarding Minds at Work resources allow employers to effectively assess and address the 13 psychosocial factors known to have a powerful impact on organizational health, the health of individual employees, and the financial bottom line. Guarding Minds at Work was developed by researchers from the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA) within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University on the basis of extensive research, including data analysis of a national sample and reviews of national and international best practices, as well as existing and emerging Canadian case law and legislation.

Guarding Minds at Work is a response to current and emerging legal requirements in Canada for the protection of employee mental health and the promotion of civility and respect at work. Legal standards increasingly require employers to develop comprehensive strategies for ensuring a psychologically safe workplace. Prudent employers need to develop policies and programs that meet these new legal standards.

Guarding Minds at Work is available to all employers - large or small, in the public or private sector -­ at no cost. Workplaces may differ in the language describing various roles and positions. Guarding Minds at Work uses the terms 'employee', 'staff', 'supervisor', 'management' and 'employer'. Please use the terms appropriate for your organization when reviewing and using the resources.

Guarding Minds at Work was commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, funded by the Great-West Life Assurance Company, and developed by experienced research-practitioners from the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA) within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada (Guarding Minds at Work 2009: Samra, J., Gilbert, M., Shain, M., Bilsker, D.; Guarding Minds at Work 2012: Gilbert, M., Bilsker, D. Shain, M., Samra, J.; Guarding Minds at Work 2018: Gilbert, M., Bilsker, D. Shain, M., Samra, J.).

Project Team

Guarding Minds at Work was created with support and input from a wide range of participants. In addition to the insight of occupational health researchers and practitioners, perspectives were obtained from small and large businesses, organized labour, public sector and not-for-profit organizations. The majority of contributors were from across Canada, but select international experts also provided valuable consultation.

The core authors responsible for researching, developing and revising Guarding Minds at Work are:

Dr. Dan Blisker

Dr. Dan Bilsker, R.Psych.

Dr. Dan Bilsker is a consulting psychologist, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of BC and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Joti Samra

Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych.

Dr. Joti Samra is a clinical psychologist and organizational and media consultant. She is a member of the Technical Committee that has developed Canada's first National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (CSA Z1003/BNQ9700).

Dr. Martin Shain

Dr. Martin Shain, S.J.D.

Dr. Martin Shain has a doctorate in Juridical Science. He holds an appointment with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

Partners

Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, CARMHA and CCOHS collaborated to increase utilization of Guarding Minds at Work by raising awareness and understanding of this tool and its importance, and by promoting it as a leading organizational resource supporting psychological health and safety in the workplace.

Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

The Centre was established in 2007 to increase knowledge and awareness of workplace psychological health and safety, improve the ability to respond to mental health issues at work, and to provide practical strategies and tools for employers. Guarding Minds at Work was commissioned by the Centre, funded by the Great-West Life Assurance Company, through The Key to Giving™ national corporate citizenship program of Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.

Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA)

CARMHA is a research centre based at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver. CARMHA is internationally recognized for innovative and interdisciplinary scientific research related to mental health and substance use, primarily in the areas of clinical or other intervention practice, health systems and population health and epidemiology. Research-practitioners, students, administrative personnel, and research assistants provided invaluable assistance to the development of Guarding Minds at Work.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

CCOHS is Canada's national resource for the advancement of workplace health and safety, and provides credible information, education and innovative solutions to create positive change in the lives of working people in Canada. CCOHS operates, hosts and maintains the Guarding Minds at Work website, and also provides English and French technical support for users.