Workplace mental health toolkit

Last updated: September 26, 2023

This self-directed toolkit is a starting place for leaders to enhance employee mental health in the workplace. Crafted with the intention of promoting a healthier work environment and organizational success, it provides a step-by-step process for creating a tailored action plan for your workplace.

On this page

Why use this?

This toolkit shows the process the BC Public Service uses to assess and develop the psychological health and safety of an organization. The goal is to guide you towards alignment with the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard).

This step-by-step process will allow you to build an action plan unique to your workplace.  


Before getting started:


Workplace Mental Health Toolkit - #1 Establish your baseline

1. Review your organization’s Psychosocial Factors Performance

The Psychosocial Factors Performance is a snapshot of your organization's performance in relation to the 13 psychosocial factors. It uses Work Environment Survey (WES) questions that are mapped to the Standard.

Access Workplace Health and Safety Dashboard -> Psychosocial Factors Performance tab (IDIR Restricted).

If you don’t have access to the Dashboard, you can request the information from your ministry human resources contact.

Couldn’t find your organization’s results or need more detailed breakdown? You can use this manual tool (XLSX, 493KB) to map your latest WES results to the Standard.

2. Analyze your results

Compare your performance to the larger BC Public Service results. These comparisons serve as a guide, highlighting areas that may need attention to improve workplace psychological health and safety.

3. Gather your organization’s data

Examine the information on your Workplace Health and Safety Dashboard, HR Analytics reports, Workforce Plan, and any other relevant internal sources for aggregate data from your organization. For example:

  • Employee engagement surveys (WES, exit surveys, etc.)
  • People Plan, Workforce Plan
  • Long-term and short-term disability rates
  • WorkSafeBC rates
  • Turnover rates
  • Psychosocial hazards (PDF, 1.2MB) 

Use these insights to help establish your baseline.

4. Record your baseline

Here is a sample template:

Key indicators Baseline year
Psychosocial Factors Performance  
Psychosocial hazards at work  
Number of employees participated in training (i.e., Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace)  

5. Celebrate your progress

You can only manage what you can measure. Congratulations on completing the first step!

Important: When using this tool, remember that it is a proxy. This means that it is an approximation and not a definitive assessment. It should be used as an indicator that there might be something to pay attention to, but it would not tell you if a particular issue or concern identified by the Standard is in fact occurring in your workplace. Therefore, it should only be used to identify the psychosocial factor or factors you want to investigate first.


Workplace Mental Health Toolkit - #2 Pick your bucket

Now determine a starting point for your workplace. Consider the following as you pick the area of focus:

  • Identify what your organization is good at and what areas need to be improved
  • Understand that everything in your business is linked. Realize that if you make changes in one part, it can have a big effect on other parts
  • For example, having clear leadership and expectation goals can help lessen your team's stress and workload, which can improve their performance indirectly
  • Choose a starting point wisely, focusing on the area where you can make the biggest positive difference
  • Don't be overwhelmed if the job seems too big; start making changes in one place and slowly grow from there


Workplace Mental Health Toolkit - #3 Getting started

1. Create an Action Plan

Use the suggested evidence-based actions from Workplace Strategies for Mental Health to draw up your action plan. Your objectives come out of your selected psychosocial factors buckets, baseline data, and psychosocial hazards self-assessment (PDF, 1.2MB).

2. Align actions with your business planning

Does your action plan align with your organizational goals? For example:

  • Workforce Plan
  • Safety management program
  • Onboarding and recruitment
  • Performance Development Plan (PDP) conversations

Sample Action Plan template:

Objective  Goals alignment Actions

Create awareness culture of Psychological Health and Safety

Ministry Workforce Plan

1. All employees to complete an Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety
2. Update Onboarding Guidelines to include the Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety


Workplace Mental Health Toolkit - #4 Measure and track

1. Use your baseline

Remember the first step? It's time to revisit your baseline and identify which measures you expect to see improvement in based on your chosen area of focus. This will give you a clear picture of the progress you've made so far and areas that still need attention.

2. Track and measure your activities

Pull together your baseline and action plan, so you can track your progress.

Sample template:

Objective Goals Alignment Actions Timeline Outcome Measure Data Source Target Status

Create awareness culture of Psychological Health and Safety

Ministry Workforce Plan 1. All employees to complete Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety DD/MM/YYYY Number of employees participated in training HR Analytics  90% completion In progress
2. Update Onboarding Guidelines to include the Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety DD/MM/YYYY Recommended course completion by new staff  HR Analytics 100% completion In progress

That’s it! This is a continual improvement model. Come back when you are ready to pick your next bucket.