July 17, 2017

UCalgary succeeds at achieving silver-level certification for workplace mental health

Continuing to implement the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
Photo credit: Riley Brandt
Photo credit: Riley Brandt

Following from work over the last several years, the University of Calgary is the recipient of Excellence Canada’s Mental Health at Work Silver Level Certification. Mental Health at Work recognizes Canadian organizations for their outstanding policies, strategies, practices and results in supporting and promoting mental health in the workplace.

Mental Health at Work is a progressive four-level certification process (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) that guides Canadian organizations through an implementation framework of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the National Standard). The national standard is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources for Canadian organizations to promote and support a psychologically healthy workplace.

“I am incredibly proud of the work accomplished collaboratively across our campus to achieve the silver level certification from Excellence Canada,” says Marcia Buchholz, associate vice-president (human resources). “It is rewarding to see the continued commitment to creating a mentally healthy workplace.”

Silver level recipients, or Role Model level, build on the solid commitment to mental health established with the bronze level, as well as an organization-wide strategic approach to mental health, including education to increase mental health and mental illness awareness, and quantifiable improvement because of a shift to proactive approaches.

Excellence Canada was on campus June 21-22 to conduct their site visit as a part of the evaluation process. The visit included strength-based focus groups with faculty and staff from all levels and across the organization to validate the university’s progress. Some of the key accomplishments they highlighted included:

Silver level demonstrates progress towards Campus Mental Health Strategy recommendations

“The implementation of the National Standard is one of the 28 recommendations stemming from the Campus Mental Health Strategy and greatly contributes to creating a community of caring,” says Andrew Szeto, director of the Campus Mental Health Strategy. “Just over a year after the launch of the strategy, 26 of the 28 recommendations are underway or complete – this is a great example of how we are working diligently toward our vision of being a leader in Canada for mental health programming and services.”

A cross-functional committee was formed in November 2016 to assess and address the 13 Psychological Factors that can impact the mental health of employees in the workplace. The 13 Factors were identified by researchers at Simon Fraser University and are applicable to all Canadian organizations and employees.

The WellBeing and WorkLife portfolio in Human Resources leads this initiative, along with developing the foundational work of the National Standard, to achieve the silver level certification. WellBeing and WorkLife is committed to promoting and enhancing a strong culture of well-being within the university community and providing mental health and wellness resources for all faculty and staff. 


For more information on mental health and well-being resources, visit the Campus Mental Health StrategyWellBeing and Worklife, or Staff Wellness

Visit WellBeing and WorkLife to learn more about the implementation of the National Standard at the University of Calgary and to learn about existing programs and resources that support each of the 13 Factors.

The University of Calgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy is a bold commitment to the importance of mental health and well-being of our university family. Our vision is to be a community where we care for each other, learn and talk about mental health and well-being, receive support as needed, and individually and collectively realize our full potential. If you think you need help, please visit resources here. If you think someone you know needs help, find more information here.