Policy Statement

The City of Toronto recognizes the importance of psychological health and safety in the workplace. The City will promote a positive working environment where management and employees collaborate to achieve the City’s goals while promoting the physical and mental health of all employees.

The City is further committed to promoting mental health and psychological well-being and to actions that prevent harm to worker psychological health through appropriate policies, programs and services.


Psychological/Mental Health

A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community

Psychological safety

The absence of harm and/or threat of harm to mental well-being that a worker may experience


The City recognizes that workplace factors can contribute to psychological health. While it is understood that a certain amount of stress is inherent in work, the City aspires to a work environment where continuous improvement in work practices and processes address psychological safety and support mental health.


The City will achieve its objective of continuously improving psychological safety and supporting mental health in City workplaces by building on its current actions and strengths in each of the following areas:

  • Actions to promote and enhance the general psychological health of the workforce (e.g. efforts to build employee resilience, create a respectful workplace, enhance mental health knowledge at all levels and eliminate stigma)
  • Actions to prevent the onset or reduce the severity of psychological health problems in the workplace, such as improvements in:
    • Primary prevention in which changes are made in conditions that may contribute to psychological health problems (e.g. considering the psychological characteristics of work tasks and individual workers to ensure good job-person fit, providing stress management training, supporting work-home balance)
    • Secondary prevention in which psychological health problems are identified and addressed while at an early stage (e.g. providing self-care tools, providing supervisor/manager training, providing early intervention through EAP and EH&R)
    • Tertiary prevention to reduce the distress and dysfunction associated with an identified mental disorder (e.g. providing support to stay at work, providing coordinated disability management, supporting access to psychological treatment)

    Each division is expected to:

  • Communicate this policy to management, workers and joint health and safety committees/health and safety representatives
  • Assess particular issues or risk factors of greatest relevance to mental health and psychological safety within the division (consulting with employees and joint health and safety committees/health and safety representatives in this process)
  • Determine whether improvements are needed
  • Identify opportunities for change and/or current strengths on which to build and record the findings
  • Undertake promotion/prevention actions to initiate change and/or build on strengths
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of actions undertaken
  • Re-assess regularly with the goal of continuously improving mental health and psychological safety

Note: Definitions in this document are taken from the CAN/CSA-Z1003-13/BNQ 9700-803/2013 National Standard of Canada

Psychological health and safety in the workplace – Prevention, promotion, and guidance to staged implementation.

Endorsed by OHSCC

April 29, 2014

Approved by

City Manager

Date Approved

June 6, 2014

Reviewed by OHSCC

September 29, 2015

Related information

Occupational Health and Safety Policy
Workplace Violence Policy
Human Rights and Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy
Employment Accommodation Policy
Workplace Code of Conduct
Critical Incidents in the Workplace: Management Guide
Critical Incidents in the Workplace: Employee Guide

Related links

CAN/CSA Standard Z1003-13 Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
Mental Health Commission of Canada Psychological Health and Safety – An Action Guide for Employers
World Health Organization Mental Health Policies and Programmes in the Workplace