How do you communicate your commitment to Mental Health?
- First, communicate the Workplace Mental Health and Safety Policy to your workers and all members on the farm.
- Post the Workplace Mental Health & Safety Policy with resources in obvious places throughout the farm and perhaps send home the information with paystubs.
- Ensure workers understand what mental health and psychological safety entails.
- Educate the management group on Workplace Violence and Harassment Regulations for the workplace as well as human rights to ensure they understand their regulatory requirements.
- Create a culture of mental health in all levels of employees on the farm.
- Determine if owners and managers are suitably trained and competent in making good decisions as it relates to supporting mental health.
- Educate managers on the difference between mental health and performance management.
- Ensure conflicts are dealt with expediently in order to prevent the situation from getting worse.
- Implement hazard controls for physical and emotional concerns.
- Keep a tracking system to determine how much mental illness costs on your farm.
Work-related mental illness such as anxiety, stress, and depression have become as costly as physical work-related injuries and are becoming much more common. According to Dr. Martin Shain of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, $11 billion could be potentially saved if mental illness could be prevented in the workplace. This money could be saved in the form of productivity, recruitment and retention, cost reductions due to lower disability rates and absenteeism rates, fewer number of conflicts/incident/injury and operational efficiency.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada about 8% of workers reported mental health problems to their managers or supervisors. As well, only 34% of workers stated that their workplace offered readily accessible services and tools to help workers cope with mental health issues.
Communication of your commitment to mental health and making resources available on your farm is key to increasing your farms sustainability through human resources.