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National Standard for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace

The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard) is a set of voluntary guidelines, tools and resources intended to guide organizations in promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work. It is the first of its kind in the world.

Carleton University adopted and has been committed to implementing the Standard since it was launched in 2013. Carleton has also adopted the Excellence Canada Mental Health at Work® framework, which provides a proven methodology for implementing the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Find out more about our excellence journey here.

What is the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace?

The Standard is a document that outlines a systematic approach to develop and sustain a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. It focuses on mental illness prevention and mental health promotion. The Standard is intended for everyone, whether or not they live with a mental illness.

It is also a voluntary standard. It is not a legal framework or regulation.

The Standard includes information on:

The Standard provides information to help organizations implement key components, including scenarios for organizations of all sizes, an audit tool, and other resources and references.

Case Study Research Project

In 2014, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) launched a three-year national Case Study Research Project (CSRP) to better understand how workplaces of all sizes and sectors across Canada are implementing the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard). Carleton University proudly participated in the CSRP to help identify promising practices and lessons learned.

The Case Study Research Project Final Report is a summary of promising practices and lessons learned from 40 participating organizations. It synthesizes their experiences and discoveries to support other Canadian employers embarking on their own journey in promoting employee psychological health and prevention psychological harm.

Find out more about the Case Study Research Project here.

Who created the Standard?

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) provided leadership and commissioned the Standard, working collaboratively with the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) and CSA Group.

The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada (through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada), as well as through a financial contribution from the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace and Bell Canada.

The content of the Standard was developed collaboratively by BNQ and CSA Group, with input from a Technical Committee of volunteers with significant experience and expertise in this subject matter. The membership of the Technical Committee included volunteers from the following sectors:

The committee included health and safety professionals, executives, labour leaders, government representatives, experts in law and policy and other groups. A complete list of Committee members is available at

Find out more about the National Standard here.