I was once told that if someone you know is struggling with their mental health, the best way to show you care is admitting you can’t possibly understand. This has stuck with me as it was a poignant reminder that, although it may be difficult to fully relate, we can all be prepared to fully support those we care for who face daily obstacles.
The good news is that as a society, we are taking strides to become more aware of the prevalence of mental health, both amongst our family and friends as well as our colleagues. Awareness leads to action and action leads to change.
May 1st kicks off Mental Health Week and presents an opportunity for employers to look at the ways they can do more to support mental health in the workplace. It’s an important conversation—we know most people spend approximately 60% of their waking hours at work.
At League, supporting employee health is a core value that is woven into the fabric of our company and our people. That’s why, for the entire month of May, we’ll be sharing lots of relevant articles, news and resources that can help employers and employees take action to better support their colleagues affected by mental illness.
The fact is, negative stereotypes continue to cause people to suffer in silence. According to CAMH, 39% of workers indicated that they would not tell their managers if they were experiencing a mental health problem.
But recent results from a three-year study conducted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada have shown that we can improve these figures to reduce the stigma felt in the workplace—that we can set a new benchmark for workplace psychological health.
The study tracked implementation of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, the first of its kind in the world:
“…the participant employers’ experiences have yielded real-world evidence that applying the Standard can actually increase positive shifts in workplace culture, efficiency, reputation and bottom line. The results also suggest that employers were successful in their application of the Standard when they actively tailored principles and frameworks to the circumstances at hand.” – Maria Gergin, Globe & Mail
The bottom line is that positive steps in any organization can create positive change, and there are tremendous mental health resources available to inform, educate and empower all organizations.
The Canadian Mental Health Association offers a number of fantastic training programs, including a course for employees and consultants to become certified to implement the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. We’ve done it, with two of our League team members completing the program.
Now, it’s your turn. Be part of the solution.