What our Community is Saying about Workplace Mental Health

Maximizing employee potential is a good business strategy for any organization as this relates directly to engagement and quality of contribution. By supporting psychological health, protecting psychological safety, and providing a mentally healthy workplace, employers can ensure the best success for every employee. Those that are vulnerable to conditions such as depression or anxiety can thrive in these workplaces, often contributing even during times of mental ill health. Increasing awareness and effectiveness in supporting positive workplace mental health is a benefit to all workplace stakeholders.

Mary Ann Baynton, Program Director, Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Listening to business executives speak to their experience with mental illness without fear, setting a powerful example both for the principle of recovery and for increased openness and understanding, has been one of the most exciting developments in years. I do feel as though I am sitting with Champions, and encourage others to speak out so that our numbers swell, and it’s stigma that gets the boot from corporations, not workers facing mental health issues.

Pat Capponi, C.M., O.Ont, Lead Facilitator, Voices from the Street

Everyone has a role to play to ensure workplaces are psychologically safe environments – owners, managers, co-workers, and also the Government of Ontario. We have been working with champions of mental health to share best practices across the province, and I’m grateful to CivicAction and their partners for raising awareness of mental illness and promoting safer, healthier workplaces.

Kevin Flynn, Ontario Minister of Labour

We need to initiate conversations about mental illness and wellness – what it looks and feels like – in schools, in workplaces and in local communities. I’ve lived with mental illness most of my life, and it was because of a culture of openness at my workplace that I felt I could open up about my experience. That was incredibly empowering. Given the time we spend at work, reducing the stigma around mental illness and promoting mental wellness has the potential to make a huge impact in all our lives.

I’m proud to be part of CivicAction’s Mental Health Champions Council. Through its model of engagement and action, CivicAction is uniquely positioned to advance this agenda by engaging leaders and organizations to help make our community a leader in mental health openness and support.

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

This is an issue that has affected so many people. They have some very important stories to share, and a lot of the time they’re just waiting for the opportunity to do it. It’s encouraging to see prominent employers and community leaders actively involved in this initiative.

Evan Luke, Marketing Specialist, ExpertFile

Preserving our mental health is one of the most important things we can do for our economy. But it’s also just the right thing to do in a humane society.

Kwame McKenzie, CEO, Wellesley Institute

Although awareness around mental health issues is growing, many who experience mental health challenges still fear telling their manager or coworkers. With so much of our lives spent at work, it is vital that we take action to make the workplace a resource to help those struggling with their mental health.

Barb Mildon, Vice-President, Practice, Human Resources, Research and Chief Nursing Executive, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

As someone living with mental health issues I am so excited to see CivicAction and their partners working toward a better conversation around mental health in the workplace. When we are supported, we will continue to be the loyal and expert employees we were hired to be.

Alicia Raimundo, Mental Health Consultant

To recognize the lived reality of workers, living and working with a mental illness, employers in every workplace must build a supportive environment, one that offers access to care. It starts with awareness and recognition and fundamentally it must include compassion and empathy.

Naureen Rizni, Director, Telecommunications, Unifor

Employees are unique individuals who bring with them perspectives and assets that must be supported and valued by workplaces. Speaking as someone with a mental illness, I know that my ‘invisible disability’ is not always taken seriously, which can leave me feeling misunderstood, under-utilized, and unable to effectively contribute to the desired level of productivity.

Harrison Wheeler, Comedian and Mental Health Advocate

The mental health crisis is a global issue and I applaud CivicAction for its initiative. An urban setting like the GTHA can – with leadership and vision – become a venue for innovation in the prevention of risk and the economic cost associated with ill mental health globally.

Bill Wilkerson, Executive Chairman, Mental Health International

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