Mental Health in the Workplace – Tips and facts for a healthy workforce
The conversation started in January 2011 with the inaugural Bell Let’s Talk day bringing attention to mental health awareness and helping to break the silence surrounding mental illness. Mental Health Week, May 3rd – 9th, 2021, continues the campaign promoting open discussion regarding mental illness, how to stop the associated discrimination and stigma, while raising awareness and building support for those who suffer.
Staying mentally healthy is like staying physically fit, it takes conscious effort to face the stresses, challenges and demands that we experience
Mental health is part of our daily lives at home, at play and at work, it affects all of us, whether directly or indirectly, whether we are aware of it or not. How we feel, think and interact with those around us can have a powerful impact on their mental wellbeing and our own.
Here are five interesting mental health facts you may not be aware of:
- Mental illness is the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada
- 1 out of every 5 Canadians will experience some form of mental illness at some point in their lives
- On any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of mental illness
- 2 out of every 3 people suffer in silence, afraid that they will be judged or rejected
- Mental health problems and illnesses cost the Canadian Economy at least $50 billion per year
Staying mentally healthy is like staying physically fit, it takes conscious effort to face the stresses, challenges and demands that we experience, even on a daily basis, and to continue to cope and function in a positive and productive way. Taking charge of your own mental well-being is the first and most important step in maintaining an overall healthy living environment. Whether your issues are physical, emotional, personal or financial, seeking help from professionals, implementing positive mental health tips and accessing resources on-line, through workshops or in person can provide and sustain a healthy life balance.
Getting loud means speaking up to stop the discrimination and the stigma that often go hand in hand with mental illness. It means using your voice to raise awareness and build support. For someone at home. For someone at work. For yourself. (From the Canadian Mental Health Association).
Although you may have found your equilibrium, often it is those around us that struggle to find that balance and are in need of understanding, support and compassion. Being able to identify someone who is suffering, learning how to interact with them, figuring out how to support them and helping others to understand them can help create a healthy and safe community for those who are battling mental illness.
Here are five simple things that you can do every day:
- Pay attention to the words you use
- Educate yourself about the facts and myths surrounding mental illness
- Be kind. Even saying hi or small acts of kindness can make a difference
- Learn to listen. Sometimes that is all someone needs
- Talk about it. Not about them but mental illness in general. Starting a dialogue can make mental illness part of normal conversation
Ending the stigma surrounding mental illness is essential to creating meaningful change and building greater awareness and acceptance of the challenges of mental wellness. It is through this change and acceptance that the impact mental health has on our workplace and economy can be reduced or minimized. And it is only when we, collectively as a society, embrace this change and acceptance that we can truly make a difference.
If you or someone you know is crisis or needs immediate assistance, get to your nearest hospital or call 911. If you or someone you know is having trouble coping or is in need of help, you can talk to your family physician, access EAP (Employee Assistance Program) at work or contact the Canadian Mental Health Association(CMHA).
As always, we are available to answer your questions or address your concerns to the best of our ability. You can reach us directly at [email protected], [email protected], by phone, at 1-844-377-9545 or you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.