New Voluntary National Standard for Mental Health and Well-Being in Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Settings

In long-term care and assisted living settings, where mental health conditions impact approximately 76% of residents diagnosed with mental health disorders or Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias, an opportunity exists to enhance the wellbeing of both residents and workers. Despite enduring systemic challenges, this situation calls for an approach rooted in compassion and human rights, emphasizing the right to the highest attainable standard of mental, physiological, and social well-being.

To meet this critical need, the CSA Group has embarked on developing a new voluntary National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being in Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Settings (CSA Z2004). This standard aims to provide guidance for the planning, development, and implementation of services, programs, training, policies, procedures, and practices to support the mental health and well-being of residents, workers, families, and care partners.

In an effort to ensure a broad representation of voices, the CSA Group will facilitate consultations with stakeholder groups and open the standard for a 60-day public review from September 2023 until November 17, 2023, with a scheduled publication in mid-2024.

We strongly encourage our members to actively participate in this review process, providing the CSA with valuable feedback. To assist you in this effort, consider the following:

  • Operationalization and Implementation Challenges: Identify obstacles that may arise while applying these standards. Considering existing workflows and procedures, how will these standards be operationalized within your site or organizations?
  • Clear Criteria and Guidelines: Assess the clarity of the standards. Are there areas where additional specificity could enhance understanding?
  • Financial Implications: What are the potential financial implications? What are strategies for cost-effective implementation?
  • Diversity of Setting and Resident Needs: Consider the diversity of care settings and resident profiles. Are the standards flexible and accommodating, ensuring they can be tailored to various contexts? (e.g., small sites vs. large sites)
  • Integration of Existing Standards: Recognizing the similarities between the HSO Long-Term Care Services Standard, CSA Long-Term Care Home Operations and Infection Prevention and Control Standard, and the new CSA mental health and wellbeing standard, it is important to explore how their implementation will be harmonized and complemented. Consider the potential discrepancies, challenges, and burdens that may arise in integrating both standards in already resource-limited settings.

By reflecting on these considerations and providing CSA with constructive feedback, the sector can ensure that the standards align with the diverse needs of both residents and care providers in long-term care and assisted living settings in B.C.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kenzie Stirling at policy[at]

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