Call me Catherine – Workplace Violence Prevention Committee Update

The CAMH Workplace Violence Prevention Committee held our first meeting on May 23. Members in attendance ‎included leaders from the JHSC, OPSEU and ONA (Central and Local), and programs across CAMH. This committee membership has been constructed for maximum collaboration.  Our aim is to create a Workplace Violence Prevention Program and culture of safety at CAMH that is second to none.

At our first meeting, Carrie Fletcher, JHSC Management Co-Chair, presented an overview of 10 current Safe & Well CAMH initiatives and received feedback on progress. There’s a lot going on!

Members discussed three initiatives for committee focus. First, we will proceed with a review of competency areas and training offerings available to CAMH supervisors. We want to be sure that our training is aligned with requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. To be clear, we will be looking at more than just alignment. My intention is to go beyond – to carve out a leadership role that continually raises the bar in prevention of workplace violence for the mental health sector.

The second initiative is a review of recommendations from the Joint Ministry Report on Workplace Violence Prevention. We will look for gaps in our current activities at CAMH and make a plan to fill those gaps. The third focus area is working to engage an external advisor to provide risk assessments on high-risk units at CAMH.

At our first meeting, we also discussed important safety topics such as restraints reduction, risk flagging and screening for weapons. We committed to the guiding principle that workplace violence prevention work will be generalizable to all parts of CAMH – to all locations, to inpatient and ambulatory environments. Lastly, we were unanimous in our commitment to measurement, reporting and continuous improvement as we continue our journey toward a Safe & Well CAMH for our staff. This is, of course, the best path to best care for our patients.

I’m looking forward to our next meeting on June 21 and I will work with ONA and OPSEU leadership as well as with our managers and directors to keep you updated on our progress.


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