Safe Care, Together

Information for Patients & Families

Providing guidance to patients/clients, family members, visitors and AHS workers in working together to prevent and respond to workplace harassment and violence.

A Safe & Healthy Workplace

At Alberta Health Services (AHS), we take the health, safety and well-being of our workers seriously. AHS is committed to providing a respectful and safe workplace that is free of harassment and violence.

Creating a healthy, safe and inclusive workplace is everyone’s responsibility.

All workers must participate in and work together to ensure a workplace free of disrespectful behaviour, discrimination, harassment, and violence.

Patients, family members, visitors, and the public using AHS’ services or otherwise in the workplace are expected to be respectful behaviour and refrain from causing harm.

Harassment and violence are never “ok.” Workers should not accept harassment and violence as part of their job.

What is Workplace Harassment & Violence?

Workplace harassment and violence are incidents where employees, physicians, midwives or volunteers are threatened, intimidated, or verbally or physically abused in their workplace.

The harassment or violence may come from other workers, patients/clients, domestic/personal violence, or external parties. Disrespectful behavioural, harassment and violence exist on a continuum.

Disrespectful behaviour can lead to harassment or violence.

Examples of harassment and violence include:

  • Sexual aggression or assault
  • Name calling or use of discriminatory or foul language
  • Pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, or throwing objects
  • Spitting, biting, hair pulling, or scratching
  • Inappropriate phone calls or social media posts

Why Does This Happen?

Harmful behaviours are often a way a person communicates. They may occur if someone feels physically or emotionally unsafe.

For example, while most people do not intend harm, some may display challenging behaviour when feeling anxious or fearful.

This feeling can be triggered by any number of things – such as experiencing a loss of control due to illness, injury other circumstances, the environment we’re in, past experiences (trauma and/or adverse childhood experiences) or difficult interactions with others.

What Can We Do About It?

Speak up when things don’t feel right.

We are better able to prevent harassment and violence when we:

  • take responsibility
  • recognize our emotions
  • show kindness
  • communicate effectively
  • work with others
  • stand up for safety.

Information for Health Professionals

Quick Reference

Find out more about the things that contribute to harassment and violence from the resources below.

Important Contacts

  • Health Link: 811
  • Mental Health Helpline: 1-877-303-2642
  • Safe Disclosure Line: 1-800-661-9675
  • Protective Services Communication Centre: 1-888-999-3770

Programs & Services

Health Information Resources

Visit suggested keywords for search: conflict, aggression, violence, and addictions and mental health.

Domestic Violence