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Letter from our MindsMatter Champions: Making Our Workplaces More Supportive for Everyone’s Mental Health

Dear Employers,

It’s estimated over 1.5 million people in the Toronto region’s labour force alone have experienced a mental health issue.  That’s one in two people.  It’s time to change that.

The workplace – a “second home” to many – should be a place that supports people’s mental health.  If we do nothing, current mental health issues in the region’s labour force could result in almost $17 billion in lost productivity over the next 10 years.

The good news is that 32% of Canadian executives already recognize the social and economic costs and are taking action. We are a part of this group.  We recognize that beyond compassion, there is a strong business case* for supporting people’s mental health through the workplace.

If you are a leader concerned with the well-being of your employees and your community’s economic prosperity, we ask you to champion a first – or next step – toward a mental health-supportive workplace.

We understand some organizations may not have the know-how, time, or resources to figure out what that step is. To make the path clearer, CivicAction a civic enabler, has worked with a group of leaders concerned with this complex issue and launched MindsMatter/Soutien Bien-Etre.

This first of its kind program provides a free, confidential online assessment tool in English and French to help you quickly know where your organization is at in supporting your people’s mental health, and how to do more.

As we recognize Healthy Workplace Month, we invite you to make three minutes matter. Take the MindsMatter assessment and join hundreds of organizations that have started their journey to a more mental health-supportive workplace. See what they have to say.

Yours in good mental health, CivicAction’s Mental Health In the Workplace Champions Council

Paula Allen | Morneau Shepell | Vice President of Research and Integrative Solutions & Champions Council Co-Chair

Kim Bellissimo | CAMH | Vice President, Human Resources

Celina Caesar-Chavannes | House of Commons | MP, Whitby and Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of International Development

Pat Capponi | Voices from the Street | Author, Mental Health Advocate, Lead Facilitator

Ashley Challinor | Ontario Chamber of Commerce | Director, Policy

Meredith Cochrane | A-way Express | Executive Director

Mary Deacon | Bell Canada | Chair, Bell Let’s Talk Mental Health Initiative

Rupert Duchesne | Aimia Inc. | former Group Chief Executive & Champions Council Co-Chair

Tracy Folkes Hanson | Canadian Society of Association Executives | President and CEO

Emmanuel Gaudette| Willis Towers Watson |Senior Consultant, Absence, Disability & Health Management

Phillip Haid | PUBLIC Inc. | Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

Brad Henderson | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada | President & CEO

Mark Henick | Canadian Mental Health Association | National Director of Strategic Initiatives

Ken Hunt | Toronto Life |Publisher

Karen Jackson| Excellence Canada |Senior Advisor, Healthy Workplace Strategies

Adrian Lawford | TD Bank Group | Associate Vice President, Retail Products

Sheldon Leiba| Humber College | Professor, The Business School

Terri Lohnes | OPTIMUS | SBR | Vice President, Health Care and Not-For-Profit Group

Shanin Lott | Stikeman Elliot LLP | Managing Director, Talent and Professional Resources

Evan Luke | ExpertFile| Marketing Specialist

Jason Maghanoy | NOW Magazine | Director of Sales Strategy & Partnerships

Jaipaul Massey-Singh | Wise Elephant Family Health Team | Executive Director

Andrejka Massicotte| RBC | Director, Canadian Benefits & Wellness

Dr. John Meyer | University of Western Ontario | Department of Psychology

Patrick Mitchell | Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care | Executive Lead, Mental Health and Addictions

Jeff Moat | Partners for Mental Health | President

Abdul Nakua | The Muslim Association of Canada | Director of Community Initiatives

Jake Norman | Facebook | Head of Agency Development Canada

Tracy Paterson | Ajax-Pickering Hospital Foundation | CEO

Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier | Sun Life Financial | Assistant Vice President Workplace Mental Health

Josephine Petcher | Unifor| National Representative and Toronto Area Director

Peter Sloly | Deloitte | Partner – Risk Advisory, Cyber, National Lead – Security & Justice and CivicAction Board member

Paul Smetanin | Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis | President and CEO

Gillian Smith | Toronto Region Board of Trade | Member Engagement Consultant

Peter Sweers| CGI | Senior Vice President, GTA Banking  & Global Wealth

Karla Thorpe | Mental Health Commission of Canada |Director, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives

Bonnie Wong Hong Fook Mental Health Association | Executive Director

* Currently about 1 in 3 of disability claims in Canada are attributed to mental health problems and illnesses. https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/focus-areas/workplaceAbsenteeism, presenteeism and turnover due to mental health issues cost Canadian businesses more than $6 billion in lost productivity in 2011.https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/sites/default/files/2017-01/Issue_Brief_workplace_mental_health_eng.pdf