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Morneau Shepell to adopt new standards for workplace mental health announced today

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Mental Health / Canada

Morneau Shepell to adopt new standards for workplace mental health announced today

Morneau Shepell part of small group of companies leading the way in Canada

TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Morneau Shepell announced today that it will be an early adopter of the new National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, which was launched this morning by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), in collaboration with the CSA Group and the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ).

Morneau Shepell, which has been a pioneer in consulting and services related to employee health and productivity, and mental health, will join other leading Canadian organizations to formally leverage the benefits of the PHSS.

The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace is intended to promote and protect psychological health and safety. It provides a clear framework to address issues that organizations face regarding employee mental health.

"Mental health issues are a primary driver of disability claims and cost in Canada and elsewhere. There are also several points of Canadian legislation that relate to workplace mental health. The PHSS offers a practical way to address these issues and to leverage the positive workplace performance benefit of a mentally healthy workplace," said Alan Torrie, President and Chief Executive Officer, Morneau Shepell, who participated at the launch of the standards this morning.

"At Morneau Shepell, we are in the business of helping other organizations support employee health, productivity and performance. We understand the value of the PHSS for all employers, and are committed to supporting our own employees as well," said Torrie. Morneau Shepell employs 3,000 people across North America, in high-demand roles that range from crisis managers and financial advisors.

Torrie called the new standard "a milestone in the advancement of psychological health and safety in the workplace and well-being of employees," and said Morneau Shepell looks forward to helping Canadian companies gain the benefits that are available to them from implementing the standard.

Claudine Ducharme, Partner, Health and Benefits Consulting for Morneau Shepell, was a member of the Technical Committee of Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace that developed the new standard. Ducharme said Canadian employers need to incorporate a strategy for dealing with mental health into their risk-management practices.

"Mental health is the leading cause of short-term disability and long-term disability in the Canadian workplace," she said. "It costs the economy more than $50 billion a year, and $20 billion of that comes directly from lost productivity."

Ducharme said that organizations are starting to recognize that this makes sense on both a financial level and a basic human level.

"While the standard is voluntary, employers are waking up to the ramifications of not dealing with the issue of mental health in an organized way, which takes advantage of known best practices," she said. Morneau Shepell already supports workplace mental health for its organization and its clients. This includes:

  • Providing training on mental health in the workplace for all company managers;
  • Implementing a mental health best practices in disability management;
  • Implementing a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) that is specifically focused on mental health;
  • Using technology to increase the access points, service options and proactive support from the Employee and Family Assistance Program.

As an early adopter, Morneau Shepell will go the next step in aligning to the PHSS to target specific objectives in workplace mental health.

The National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace 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), through a financial contribution from the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, and with support from Bell Canada. The CSA Standard was released in draft form on November 1, 2011, for a period of public consumption that ended on January 6, 2012.

About Morneau Shepell Inc.

Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as the largest administrator of pension and benefits plans. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 8,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 3,000 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

SOURCE: Morneau Shepell Ltd.

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Tricia Ramsarran

Jerry Amernic