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Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

Joint BCNU and UBC Psychological Health & Safety Survey

The survey is now closed

Nurse researchers from the University of British Columbia (MacPhee, Havaei) conducted a Psychological Health and Safety survey in collaboration with the BC Nurses' Union (BCNU). Globally, nurses' rates of anxiety, depression and burnout are rising due to unsafe work environments and violence exposure.

The purpose of the survey was to document BC nurses' perceptions of their work environments and use the findings to influence change.  Researchers  asked about nurse exposure to unsafe work conditions, such as violence; and their reports of PTSD, anxiety, depression and burnout, and quality of life.  

About the Survey


National Standard for Psychological Health and 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 Nurses' Bargaining Association (NBA) collective agreement that was 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.

Three Strategic Pillars

  • Prevention of harm

  • Promotion of health

  • 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. 

download the standard

Updated: 12/3/2019 9:17 AM

 BCNU Mental Health Strategy


BCNU is working towards a better system for all British Columbians by focusing on improving care for patients, creating safer workplaces and ensuring accessbile mental health supports for members. Learn more.

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