A new manual released by United Nurses of Alberta on World Mental Health Day will provide members with tools, resources and information for addressing violence and abuse in the workplace.
The manual outlines the definitions of violence and abuse, as well as the language in UNA collective agreement and Occupational Health & Safety laws that are meant to protect employees in the workplace. The manual also includes forms UNA members can use to report violence and abuse, or bullying and harassment, in their workplaces.
A recent survey of UNA members showed workplace violence, harassment and other forms of staff abuse affecting nurses continues to be a significant problem in Alberta health care workplaces.
Close to half the working nurses who responded to the UNA survey in 2018 said they had experienced physical violence such as being pushed, hit or having things thrown at them at work during the previous 12 months. Almost 18 per cent said they had experienced physical violence at work during their most recent five shifts.
UNA encourages all members to use this manual, and the Occupational Health & Safety Provisions in their collective agreements, to raise concerns about situations that could affect the health and safety of employees at their worksites. UNA relies on its members to help track problems in the workplace – and develop specific solutions to emerging problems.
World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 every year with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.