Mental health claims increase at WCB

Over the last three years, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has seen a 75 per cent increase in the number of mental health claims accepted.

WorkSafe Saskatchewan is working to educate workers and employers on how to create safe and healthy workplaces.

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WorkSafe has a suite of psychological health and safety courses available on the WorkSafe website that the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) developed to help educate workers, supervisors and managers. In addition, employers are encouraged to take advantage of new resources made available to help create psychologically healthy work environments for their employees.

“The increase in the number of mental health claims suggests a real need in our province,” said Kevin Mooney, Director of Prevention at the WCB. “At WorkSafe, we are working to provide employers with training on how to create psychologically healthy workplaces for employees and how to support employees when they are experiencing mental health challenges.”

WorkSafe has partnered with the University of Fredericton (UFred) to offer Saskatchewan employers and workers a suite of psychological health and wellness courses at a fraction of the standard tuition fee.

Aimed at Saskatchewan employers who want to train their workforces, the online training includes both theory and practical application. The resource-rich course content of the Enhancing Workplace Resiliency course provides practical approaches for employees to lead a psychologically safe work environment and identifies how to respond and manage situations where an employee is struggling. Separated into six online modules, this course will benefit all levels of workers – from the frontline employee to the CEO.

In addition to the resiliency course, employees have the option of enrolling in one or both online certificate programs. The Certificate in Managing Psychological Health Issues at Work program is ideal for supervisors and managers who are supporting the individual employee experiencing emotional distress or mental health issues. For organizational leaders working to implement workplace health and safety management systems for all employees, the Advanced Certificate in Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace program will help to support their efforts.

“Our goal is to help reduce the stigma around mental health issues in the workplace and create psychologically safe work environments,” said Mooney. “Workers will benefit from a psychologically supported work environment. Employers will be educated to identify the signs and take appropriate action, and also benefit from keeping experienced and valued employees in their workforce.”

Registration is open through the WorkSafe website for all UFred and CCOHS online training courses. To register, visit www.worksafesask.ca/mentalhealth

For resources on how to prevent all workplace injuries, employers and workers can reach out to their industry safety association or visit the WorkSafe Saskatchewan website at www.worksafesask.ca.

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