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The following terms are defined in the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace:

Critical event (individual)
An event or a series of events that has a stressful impact sufficient enough to overwhelm the usually effective coping skills of either an individual or a group.

Critical event (organization)
An event or a series of events that interrupts the normal flow of activities of the organization in a way that impacts psychological health and safety.

An injury or damage to health.

A potential source of psychological harm to a worker.

A state of complete physical, social, and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. [Reference: World Health Organization]

Health promotion
The process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health.  [References: Health Promotion Glossary]

Mental health
A state of well-being in which an 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. Synonym: psychological health. [Reference: World Health Organization]

Mental Illness
A serious disturbance in thoughts, feelings and perceptions that is severe enough to affect day-to-day functioning. [Reference: Mood Disorders Canada]

Organizational culture
a pattern of basic assumptions invented, discovered, or developed by a given group that are a mix of values, beliefs, meanings, and expectations that group members hold in common and use as behavioral and problem-solving cues.

A documented method to carry out an activity.

A set of interrelated or interacting activities that transforms inputs into outputs.

Psychological health - see Mental health.

Psychological safety
The absence of harm and/or threat of harm to mental well-being that a worker might experience. [Reference: Guarding Minds@Work (adapted wording)]

Note: Improving the psychological safety of a work setting involves taking precautions to avert injury or danger to worker psychological health.

Psychologically healthy and safe workplace
A workplace that promotes workers’ psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to worker psychological health including in negligent, reckless, or intentional ways. [Reference: Guarding Minds@Work (adapted wording)]

Psychosocial risk factor
Hazards including elements of the work environment, management practices, and/or organizational dimensions that increase the risk to health.

The combination of the likelihood of the occurrence of harm and the severity of that harm.

Any person or organization within the workplace that can affect or be affected by, or perceive themselves to be affected by, the decisions or activities related to mental health and safety factors within the workplace.

A person employed by an organization or a person under the day-to-day control of the organization, whether paid or unpaid, which includes employees, supervisors, managers, leaders, contractors, service providers, volunteers, students, or other stakeholders actively engaged in undertaking activities for benefit to the organization.

An area or location where a worker works for an organization, or is required or permitted to be present while engaging in service (including social events) on behalf of an organization.


EFAP — Employee and Family Assistance Plan

LTD — Long Term Disability

OHS — Occupational Health and Safety

STD — Short Term Disability


Last updated Thu, Sep 21, 2017