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Seeking Solutions: June mental health meeting to take 360 degree look at violence and workplace safety

We the North
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OPSEU’s Mental Health Division is bringing together experts from across the province to take a 360 degree look at the issue of violence and workplace safety. Scheduled for June 17-18 in Toronto, this two-day event is intended to start a dialogue towards engineering a safer environment for both staff and patients. That includes sessions where we turn to the participants to contribute their own best practices.

Studies tell us that patients suffering from mental illness are no more prone to violence than the general population. Yet incidents of violence vary greatly even among comparative mental health environments in the province. Why it is at some hospitals Code Whites – a response to aggressive behaviour — are a daily occurrence, while at others they are a rarity?

How can we address the issue of violence without contributing to stigma? What role do least restraint policies play, and can they be better implemented? What kind of training should be available to staff to better handle these situations? What existing legislation exists, and what are the gaps? What happens when professionals conduct this work in the community? What role does the workplace environment play?

Speakers confirmed so far include:

Glenn French — President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative on  Workplace Violence

Heather Stuart — Bell Canada Mental Health & Anti-Stigma Research Chair, Queen’s University

Jeff Moat – President, Partners for Mental Health

Nancy Casselman — Director, Human Resources & Organizational Quality, Safety and Wellness at Toronto East General Hospital

Lori Schindel Martin – Associate Professor, Ryerson University

Warren (Smokey) Thomas – OPSEU President

Lisa McCaskell — OPSEU Senior Health & Safety Officer

Marty McFarlane – OPSEU Education Officer

The new Minister of Labour, Kevin Flynn, has also been invited to open the meeting.

Survey

The event will also look at the result of a workplace violence survey that has been sent out to all Mental Health Locals. If your local health and safety members haven’t filled out the survey yet, please do so as soon as possible by clicking here.

Who is eligible to attend?

Every OPSEU mental health local has been invited to send their highest ranking member or their delegate, plus a member from each health and safety committee.

If you are eligible to attend, please contact your local executive as soon as possible about registering for this event. Space is very limited.

Picture of Jeff Moat, President - Partners of Mental Health

Jeff Moat, Partners for Mental Health