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Make three minutes matter: CivicAction launches workplace mental health program

TORONTO, December 2, 2016 – Employers have an easier path to workplace mental health with today’s launch of CivicAction’s ground-breaking MindsMatter program. Over 150 civic and business leaders from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) gathered today to hear about the program, which includes a free online assessment tool that gives employers customized steps to take and related resources to better support their people’s mental health. Employers can join the program at today.

The MindsMatter program is a direct response to research CivicAction released earlier this year in partnership with Morneau Shepell and Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA). The research estimates that half of the GTHA’s labour force has experienced a mental health issue and over the next decade, current mental health issues could cost our region $17 billion in lost productivity.

“The workplace is where so many of us spend so much of our day, and it can, and should, be a better place to support people’s mental health,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction. “CivicAction invites all employers – regardless of size, sector or where they’re at with mental health – to join the MindsMatter program to strengthen our people, our businesses and our economy.”

Through CivicAction’s assessment tool, the first of its kind in Canada, employers are given a tailored report that provides three actions and a sampling of resources suggested by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The assessment tool is confidential and takes under three minutes to complete. Employees can go to for tips on how to better support co-workers.

According to a survey by the Canadian Mental Health Association, 32% of Canadian business leaders are taking action to address workplace mental health, while 42% are interested but haven’t taken action due to barriers such as lack of time, resources, or know-how.

“Employers clearly have the appetite to do more to support people’s mental well-being,” said CivicAction Mental Health Champions Council co-chair Paula Allen, Vice President of Research and Integrative Solutions at Morneau Shepell.  Rupert Duchesne, CivicAction Mental Health Champions Council co-chair and Group Chief Executive at Aimia Inc. added, “The MindsMatter program helps employers overcome barriers with a simple, customized roadmap to a healthier, more well-supported workforce.”

Standing with CivicAction today were members of the Champions Council and Advisory Group from across sectors and the GTHA, including Bell, CAMH, Facebook, Government of Ontario, Hong Fook Mental Health Association, Muslim Association of Canada, RBC, Sotheby’s, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Sun Life Financial, TD Bank Group, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Toronto Life, and Unifor. They join CivicAction in inviting other GTHA-based organizations to take the assessment, take at least one action, and share their experience using #mindsmatter so others can learn about promising practices.

“Employers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to provide support when someone is experiencing mental health challenges,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “The Ontario government is pleased to support this initiative, which will give workplaces the tools to support their employees through early interventions, helping to avoid a potential crisis down the road.”

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Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Linda Weichel, VP, Initiatives, CivicAction at or (416) 371 4904.

About CivicAction: Since 2012, CivicAction has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of our region’s toughest challenges. CivicAction sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships and launches campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region. To find out more visit or follow us on twitter at @CivicActionGTHA.

About CivicAction’s MindsMatter Program: The MindsMatter program was developed in partnership with over thirty organizations on CivicAction’s Mental Health Champions Council and six Advisory Group members representing Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, Mental Health International, Ontario Ministry of Labour, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and the Wellesley Institute. The content for the MindsMatter tool was developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada with the financial support of Health Canada. Technology assistance thanks to Morneau Shepell. Branding and creative by PUBLIC Inc. To find out more visit #mindsmatter

CivicAction’s MindsMatter program would not be possible without the generous support of the Government of Ontario, Bell Let’s Talk, Aimia Inc., CGI, Mental Health Commission of Canada, CN, Willis Towers Watson, and probono partners Morneau Shepell, PUBLIC Inc., Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, and McCarthy Tétrault.

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