Waypoint responds to OPSEU information rally
Waypoint responds to OPSEU information rally
Posted on 04/18/2016

Today members of OPSEU Local 329 and others held an information rally on violence in the workplace at the entrance to Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.


“We respect our staff’s advocacy work on workplace safety. Everyone is aware of last week’s incident and we are very sorry that this and any incident involving workplace violence occur,” noted Carol Lambie, Waypoint President and CEO. “When it comes to safety we are all in this together and it is everyone’s responsibility. Leaders and staff together have a role to play in the health and safety of our staff and patients, and there is no question this is a priority.”


Waypoint senior leaders are involved in workplace safety at a number of levels, including participating on the Provincial Workplace Violence Prevention Leadership Advisory Table and the various working groups that have been established. Locally, the hospital has had various Ministry of Labour field visits and orders that have already been, or are being addressed. Work is also underway to address an initial report from the investigation into last week’s incident and the hospital will take the necessary actions to respond to all orders received.


“We are committed to working together to make improvements that support the health and safety needs of everyone. Our hospital proactively seeks solutions and changes and improvements are regularly implemented based on evidence, best practices, learnings from our peers and our own investigations. We have enhanced training programs, processes, our buildings, technology and therapeutic approaches to treatment and care. And we are committed to ongoing research and evaluation,” said Lambie.


Media reports have cited ongoing concerns with Waypoint’s new Atrium Building. Progress has been made on the majority of these issues which include staff input and ideas, as well as other identified opportunities for improvement. Responding to these and other health and safety concerns brought forward are not only a legislated requirement for Waypoint as it is for all hospitals, as well Waypoint is committed to this through its Strategic Plan.


“Everyone is committed to doing our utmost to prevent unfortunate incidents such as happened last week. When they do occur, we respond immediately and do our best to support staff and patients through the immediate and longer term concerns these situations bring,” said Lambie.

While research shows that the majority of people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence rather than perpetrators, the severe behaviours that can be associated with serious mental illness and addiction, and in health care in general, are prevalent in Waypoint’s work. The hospital is known for its research and is continually learning from, and evolving its processes and practices to support staff and patient safety.


”We are in no way minimizing the seriousness of this or any incident,” said Lambie. “Our staff, volunteers and leaders are here because we want to help patients in their mental health journey, and everyone wants staff and patients to be safe while doing that.”

The hospital recognizes that this and other incidents also cause patients and family members concern. The commitment by Waypoint to work together on patient and staff safety, as well as efforts for on-going awareness about mental illness and addiction, and anti-stigma advocacy are priorities.