Frequently Asked Questions About Investing in a Workplace Mental Health Program
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The focus of this website is prevention. If you’re having an immediate crisis, click the orange CRISIS button at the top of the page to see options. If you or your co-workers are dealing with the aftermath of a crisis in the workplace, you may want to consider bringing in a trauma therapist or a grief counsellor to assist you. If applicable, contact your Employee and Family Assistance Program. Otherwise, here are some links you may find helpful:
- The free Ontario Mental Health Helpline can supply information and referrals to counselling services and supports in your community. They can be contacted in several ways:
Smaller companies tend to have stronger support networks, since staff often work more closely together. That support network is one positive factor in creating a healthy workplace, but there are many other negative factors that still apply.
For example, in a small business, each person may have the stress of “wearing many hats” or feel the anxiety of the business highs and lows more personally. People at all sizes of businesses develop mental illness, and its effect can make an even bigger impact on a small company. You’ll want to do what you can now to prevent a future concern.
The resources on this site are free, to help you create a workplace mental health program with minimal cost. We’re not aware of any government funding currently earmarked for this purpose.
Put up some mental health posters in your workplace. Letting your staff know you support them talking about mental health issues helps remove the stigma and opens minds. You can download posters from this website: use the search bar at the top of this page to find posters and many other resources in our database.
Here are 8 other topics to consider:
- What stigma is, and how you plan to reduce it (e.g., through the lunch ‘n learns, supervisor training, program development)
- What mental health is, what risk factors at work exacerbate it, and how your workplace plans to reduce these risk factors
- Ways for people to manage their stress levels – breathing, exercise, yoga, etc. – with practice time built into the lunch ‘n learn
- How workplace culture ties in with mental health, and the characteristics you want to engender in your culture – trust, honesty, openness, fairness, civility and respect
- Your workplace’s mental health policy, and how the organization is putting that policy into practice
- Internal supports (e.g., EFAPs, flex hours) for employees with mental health issues, or who may have family members with issues
- How to recognize and respond appropriately to someone in distress, including role-playing
- Community resources, such as local mental health practitioners, organizations, associations, etc.
Research done by PwC shows an average 230% return on every dollar invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace.
Just as when physical injury prevention is the focus, personal medical details are not needed when looking at mental injury prevention. Tell your staff you are interested in general information that can prevent mental distress, and help improve overall mental health.
In your early discussions with staff, let them know that, should they choose to share personal details with management, it will remain confidential. Impress on anyone managing others that privacy of health information is a crucial part of their job.