The mental health experience in canadas workplaces

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The Mental Health Experience in Canada's Workplaces survey found that respondents who reported their organization had clearly-defined mental health policies and programs also reported positive mental health outcomes. For example, 50% of employees who reported their organization had a general workplace mental health strategy, reported it had a moderate to high impact on their mental health. A moderate to high impact on mental health was also reported by 62% of employees with employee- family assistance programs (EFAP), 63% of workers with harassment policies, and 70% of workers where attendance management addressed mental health. In workplaces where employees reported their organization had policies and best practices regarding stigma, 93% of those workers reported these had had a moderate to high impact on their mental health.
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25 Supporting employees with mental health concerns begins by understanding the key barriers. These can include a reluctance to ask employers for assistance due to a lack of openness and trust, whether an employee is ready to ask for help, challenges gaining access to the right supports, and gaps in mental health benefits coverage. Bridging these gaps can help reduce the risk than an employee will develop a mental health problem or illness and allow them to better contribute to the workplace. Joint accountability provides an opportunity for both employees and employers to achieve maximum performance results. In turn, this can help each employee develop personal satisfaction, both within the workplace and in their daily life outside of work.
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26 Shifting the Conversation Given that 20% of the Canadian population experiences a mental illness in a given year 40 , and the psychosocial in nature of many mental illnesses 41 , there are two major questions to explore. Who will be affected? And who is responsible for the solution? The short answer to both questions is: everyone. Due to the number of external and internal factors that contribute to an individual’s mental health, and the fact that mental health lies along a continuum, we all will likely experience a mental health challenge at some point. Effectively supporting mental health is not something that can be done through one program, or solely owned by an individual or an organization. Therefore, it is important for a strategy to be grounded in continuous improvement and joint responsibility. A comprehensive strategy is something that takes time, effort and adequate resources to develop. If your organization is not yet ready, or in the early stages of its journey to optimal mental health, that is okay; there are some small steps you can take to start or continue to develop a more comprehensive approach. The following are examples of the kinds of actions that can help build the business case and/or start the mental health conversation in the workplace: Sustained, visible leadership : Buy-in from senior leadership is one of the most integral aspects of developing a sustained and effective strategy. It is more than just signing the cheques or
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  • Fall '19
  • mental health, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Mental Health Experience

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