Local businesses address workplace mental health
Published Monday, February 25, 2013 2:21PM MST
Last Updated Monday, February 25, 2013 2:30PM MST
The very first Calgary Workplace Mental Health Conference is a sell out and local businesses are showing their commitment to making psychologically safe and healthy environments for employees.
The National Bottom Line Conference will take over the Metropolitan Conference Centre on Wednesday.
The Canadian Mental Health Association initiative is designed to teach employers about workplace mental health and the effects of a psychologically safe and healthy environment on their bottom line.
“Attendees range from human resource professionals, to senior level executives, to front line employees and mental health sector workers. Everyone is attending with a common goal: to improve workplace mental health. We have a long way to go, but this is a testament to the need for change in a positive direction,” said Dan Delaloye, executive director for CMHA – Calgary Region.
Ten tips for a psychologically healthy workplace:
- Say thank you – to those who work for you, to those who you work for, to those you work with.
- Bring laughter into the workplace. This might involve a cartoon, a joke, a personal story or even a short session of laughter yoga.
- Have a meeting with your team about the big picture. Do more listening than talking.
- For one full week, ask each of the people you work with three business‐related questions a day. Try to focus on what they like about work and how they feel, rather than the widgets.
- Ask each of your employees to write down one professional development and one health goal for the upcoming year, and to post it where they can see it.
- Enroll someone from your organization (ideally the same one who identified this as a professional development goal) on a course on psychological health in the workplace.
- Take action on an employee idea. Decide you will all learn from its success or failure.
- Recognize that we all have bumps in the road and will need help sometimes. If you have a benefits plan, ask your insurance or Employee Family Assistance Plan provider toexplain what aspects of the plan support psychological health. Post the details somewhere central.
- Explore ways to minimize disruptions to your employees. This might mean turning off phones, cell phones or email for one hour a day.
- Leave work for an hour, a day or a week for non-work reasons and tell the whole team what you’re doing. Go for lunch with a friend, take your kids/pets to the park, or take a vacation somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
About 500,000 Canadians are absent from work each day due to mental health reasons.
To learn more about the conference visit the Canadian Mental Health Association website.