Conversations on Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

November 1, 2021

For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors


Monday, October 19th, Manulife’s Dr. Georgia Pomaki joined a discussion about the CSA’s new Work Disability Management System Standard. The event was hosted by the Canadian Institute for Safety, Wellness, and Performance.

Dr. Pomaki joined a panel of experts in Disability Policy and Research, Nursing, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. The group discussed how the new Standard will make it easier for employers to find their focus when helping employees recover from a mental health issue and make a successful return to work.

“The mental health of many Canadian workers is suffering during this pandemic,” says Dr. Pomaki. “The fear of catching the virus, worries about finances, isolation and loneliness are all contributing to the stress people are feeling. Few are actively reaching out for help, so the workplace plays a really important role in supporting those employees.”

The new Standard brings best practices to employers’ approach to disability management. Standards are created with input from experts and a wide range of stakeholders, are evidence-based and regularly reviewed and updated.

Dr. Pomaki was the only private insurer representative on the Technical Committee that contributed to the creation of the Standard. She drew employers’ attention to these key areas in the new Standard:

  • Business case – page 30: How to prepare a business case proposal for implementing the Standard.
  • Implementation and tips – pages 23 - 26; 38 - 39: The nuts and bolts of disability management.
  • Case studies – pages 46 - 52: What can the implementation of the Standard look like?

To ensure on-going success, Dr. Pomaki suggests employers “have the right people in the right roles, provide training, track your results, and remain committed to the Standard to see long-term results.”

View a recording of the panel discussion.

The Canadian Institute for Safety, Wellness & Performance, located within Conestoga’s School of Business, works to improve the safety, wellness and performance of the Canadian labour force by generating knowledge, transferring research to practice, and strengthening workforce development — all in collaboration with stakeholders.