Willis Towers Watson’s Canadian Flash Survey on Mental Health reveals that to support employee mental health and mitigate organizational costs, employers are focusing their efforts on promoting awareness of mental health issues, increasing communication on how to access mental health programs and integrating their mental health initiatives with a larger health and well-being program. This original research gives insight into how workplace mental health has become a priority for Canadian organizations.
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World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) 2017 Report on Mental Health in the Workplace.
Mental health issues have been shown to increase employee absenteeism, lower rates of productivity and increased costs. This year’s WFMH Report takes talks about taking mental health out of the shadows in the work place so that people and companies can have the tools they need to help their employees and increase the overall mental wellbeing of their workforce. Read it here.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Mental Health in the Workplace: Insights from CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network (ELN).
In a growing and diversifying workforce, adopting more inclusive approaches to promote and support mental health should be top of mind for employers. To get you started, check out these four recommendations from rising leaders in a new two-page brief developed by CivicAction and the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN). Help spread the word and share these ideas with this infographic!
Tanya Sinclair, Deputy CEO/Director of Human Resources at Pickering Public Library
In 2013, when the Standard for PHS was released, Pickering Public Library chose to take a proactive and collaborative approach to better understand and support ourselves and our employees by forming a committee primarily of employees representing all departments in our organization. The topic of mental health is now discussed regularly and more openly throughout the organization and we continue to see high level of support for our PHS program from all stakeholders—senior management, the Board, the union, and our employees. As a workplace, it’s simply the right thing to do.
Bonnie Wong, Executive Director at Hong Fook Mental Health Association
At any organization or company, staff frequently feel weighed down, feeling the pressure of deadlines and choosing to ignore their personal mental health. At Hong Fook Mental Health Association, we are proud to share our commitment to mental health over the years as we firmly believe in open communication and cross-team collaboration. Some of our past initiatives from 2015-2016 included team outings, resource sharing, Ba Duan Jin (breathing and stretching workshops), and our Social Fund Committee (pooled funds for farewell parties, potlucks, annual dinners, sympathy cards, and so forth).
Brad Henderson, President & CEO at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
Just recently, one of our HR representatives was called to deal with a situation of high-stress level with one of our employees. The employee was encouraged to take mind breaks on a regular basis, as well as consider remote work from time to time to help with the added pressure of constant interruptions in the office environment.
The employee was very receptive and appreciative of the fact that employee mental health is a matter of high importance to the Dundee Group of Companies, and that we would strive for constant improvement as we look into best practices in the industry.
Louis Lagace, Senior Director Compensation and Benefit Services at CN
Through CN’s Employee and Family Assistance Program and a peer network of over 330 CN volunteers, our employees and their families have access to confidential support services. To become a peer, employees undergo three days of training and, twice a year, receive additional training on emerging needs, including Mental Health and Resiliency at Work, Grief Awareness, and Communicating in Cross Cultural Blind Spots. In 2017, CN was honoured by the Atlanta-based Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) with the Corporate Award of Excellence for Canada, recognizing the innovation and impact of CN’s program.
Sarah Downey, President & CEO at Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network
Michael Garron Hospital is an early adopter of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace. We know our ability to deliver excellent patient care requires us to protect and support the physical and mental health of our staff. We are committed to fostering a respectful work environment free from stigma, discrimination and supportive of staff and patients living with mental health conditions. We will continue to advance mental health awareness, champion inclusivity and build a resilient workforce to serve our community.
Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier, Assistant Vice President Workplace Health at Sun Life Financial
Employees are very happy with the level of support provided through our benefits programs and our increased commitment to mental health.
We are sending a message to employees and people leaders that “we see you and hear you and want to support you and your family,”
The impact on stigma has been significant. Every mental health webinar topic is “sold out” with 300 attendees, and claims for psychological services have more than doubled.
Natalie Roach, M.Ed., Mental Health Coordinator at Ryerson University
This past year, Ryerson University recognized an opportunity to demonstrate this commitment to employee wellbeing in a tangible way. Several hundred thousand dollars has been dedicated to transforming a space on campus into the Employee Wellbeing Lounge. The new space will enhance employee mental health through providing opportunities to connect with others and socialize in a dining space, relax in a lounge area, and rejuvenate and rest in a quiet space. Elements of the natural environment, such as wood panelling, stone features, images of nature will be woven throughout the space.
With research partners Morneau Shepell and the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, we’ve learned the scope of how mental health impacts the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area labour force. Along with this powerful data, we’re calling on employers and colleagues to take simple steps now to better support co-workers.