Skip to main content

Mental Health Strategy

BCNU Mental Health Strategy: Working towards a better system for all British Columbians

In 2013, BCNU embarked on a journey to examine, understand and influence the delivery of mental health care in British Columbia, based on the knowledge, experience, and unique perspectives of BC nurses. Since then, the goals of the Mental Health Strategy have evolved to align with existing strategic initiatives, focusing on improving care for patients, creating safer workplaces, and ensuring accessible mental health supports for our members.

The BCNU Mental Health Strategy is made up of a number of initiatives and programs, some well-established, and others in development. The ultimate goal of the Strategy is to work towards a better system for all British Columbians.

Personal Resilience Workshops

The nursing profession is highly demanding with many physical and psychological hazards. Many nurses are routinely exposed to trauma, violence and human suffering on a daily basis. BC​NU offers personal resilience workshops​ designed to help nurses identify things like compassion fatigue and signs of post-traumatic stress disorder in themselves and their colleagues. To find a workshop in your region, go to the BCNU Events Calendar​.

Mental Health System Reform Position Statement

Between January and March of 2015, BCNU hosted 10 workshops across BC attended by over 70 front-line nurses working in the mental health care system.  The participants came from diverse areas of practice; from perinatal care of women with mental illness and addictions, to nurses working with the elderly; community to forensics, urban, rural and remote communities; new grads to nurses with thirty years of experience. Together they developed consensus documents articulating their shared vision of care and support and ideas for positive change that would benefit people and families struggling with mental illness in this province. ​Collectively their voice has informed the final version of our position statement ​that was approved by the Mental Health Strategy Steering committee and by BCNU Council.   

National Standard of Canada of Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace

In 2013, the Mental Health Commission of Canada released a National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety (PH&S) in the Workplace (The Standard). This set of principles, guidelines, and tools is the first of its kind, and is currently being implemented in workplaces across the country. The NBA Collective Agreement ratified in 2016 includes a Letter of Agreement that requires each Health Authority to adopt and implement the Standard; it is no longer voluntary for Health Authorities in British Columbia. BCNU is the first union to negotiate this into collective agreement language, and the rest of the country is watching as we lead the way.

The Standard is based on three strategic pillars: (1) Prevention of harm; (2) Promotion of health; and (3) Resolution of incidents or concerns. Attention to all three areas is integral to fostering a psychologically healthy workplace as well as addressing any ongoing PH&S issues. Thirteen workplace factors tied to psychological safety are identified, and make up the basis of the actions outlined in The Standard.

The Standard also outlines guidelines for planning, data collection, implementation, evaluation and corrective action as required, along with sample implementation and evaluation models suited to varying organizational sizes and needs. BCNU is working hard to ensure that this work is done well, and that our members benefit from the transformational potential of the implementation of this Standard. You can download the Standard here, or read our two-page executive summary here.

Updated: 12/13/2017 4:43 PM

​If you are NOT receiving updates, news, and events emailed to you, log in to the BCNU Member Portal and update your information.

BCNU Member Portal