Mental Health Strategy

Nurse holding clipboard facing a patient sitting down

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.

diagram of mental health strategy

The BCNU Mental Health Strategy is made up of a number of initiatives and programs, some well-established, and others in development. In 2019, BCNU achieved a victory when WorkSafeBC amended the Worker’s Compensation Act to include nurses in what is referred to as “presumptive legislation”. This inclusion makes it easier for a nurse diagnosed with a mental condition to access compensation through WorkSafeBC. This had previously only been available to police, fire and ambulance paramedics. The ultimate goal of the Strategy is to work towards a better system for all British Columbians.

Personal Resilience Education 

The nursing profession is highly demanding with many physical and psychological hazards, which can result in mental injury and/or impact mental wellbeing. It is an employer's responsibility to build a physically and psychologically safe workplace that works to mitigate psychological hazards. 

BCNU members and staff have demonstrated great resilience in creating and adapting to new work processes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, toxic drug public health emergency, and experiences of racial injustice. To help sustain and build resilience skills, BCNU is offering an on demand personal resilience course titled Introduction to Embodying Your Practice

Additionally, recordings of the personal resilience webinars can be found in the BCNU Member Portal.

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.   

UPDATED: October 12, 2023

BCNU Updates

BCNU is advocating for improving WorkSafeBC Mental Disorder Claim Policy to create a more worker-centric system. Read the most recent BCNU submission.

Personal Resiliency Resources


Watch the Events Calendar for regular webinars that feature conversations to resource members in processing stress and overwhelm in the body and work to create a community of practice. Recordings of the live sessions can be found in the on-demand course here.

On-Demand Course

Embodying Your Practice introduces foundational skills of trauma-informed practice to help settle the nervous system and process overwhelm. Read our 2022 bulletin. Register for EYP here

External Resources

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