Model Mental Health and Safety Policy
On Sept 10th in the “You Can Have Both – Mental & Physical Health” post, it notes a survey conducted by Morneau Shepell, where they found that 33% of Canadian employees are now suffering or have suffered from a mental health condition, such as depression or an anxiety disorder. And another 27% are experiencing significant symptoms of stress. Of those surveyed, 58% said their productivity has been negatively impacted by stress at work, while 45% said they have thought about leaving their job due to workplace stress and the impact it was having on them.
In the “10 Tips for Improving Mental Health on the Farm,” Tip #1 suggested including a commitment to mental health. A Workplace Mental Health & Safety Policy can outline a simple commitment of mutual respect, confidentiality and cooperation amongst all workers on the farm including volunteers, visitors, suppliers, and contractors. Click the link to download the sample policy and adapt it to your Farm and include it in your Farm Safety Plan.
The purpose of the policy is to layout an expectation in writing to prevent workplace stressors and psychological harm on the farm. Involve the owner of the farm, managers, and workers in developing or reviewing the policy to promote a culture of positive mental health on the farm, show support, and offer resources to affected workers.
List available resources directly in the policy so workers can easily find them. Farmers and workers may feel there is still a stigma in regards to mental illness and feel as though coming forward may have a poor impact on them in the workplace.
Once you had a chance to review and adapt this policy to your farm, we will look at communicating the Mental Health and Safety policy to your team and others who may also be on the farm.