Mental Health Week: Five Tips to Support Workplace Mental Health
This week, the Canadian Mental Health Association wants to #GetReal about mental health. Celebrating its 71st Mental Health Week, this year’s theme is empathy with the association encouraging Canadians to “tune in” before they “weigh in” and “get real” about how to help one another when it comes to our mental health.
Having spent her career spearheading a national dialogue on the crucial issues of leadership and workplace health, Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier has spearheaded a national dialogue on the crucial issues of leadership resilience and workplace health. She believes mental health and resiliency are key pillars in overall health and encourages leaders everywhere to use this week to initiate and implement actions to support mental health for yourself, your team, and your workplace.
Five Tips to Support Employee Mental Health Now
Below are Marie-Hélène’s suggested best practices and ideas to get you started.
1. Avoid a “one and done” approach
Whatever you do for mental health week shouldn’t feel like it exists in a vacuum. Take steps that make sense for your workplace. If talking about mental health isn’t a regular practice, then consider what you will do to keep building on the conversation, i.e., the increased literacy, action plans, and resources after mental health week.
2. Leverage the national campaigns
The 2022 campaign from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) called #GetReal is all about empathy, which is both a contributor to and an outcome of higher resilience. CMHA offers tools and strategies that you can implement at your workplace to support your teams.
3. Equip your leaders with the right tools and strategies
Don’t forget that people in your workplace will be in different places along the mental health continuum at different points in time. Ensure your leaders are trained with knowledge of the resources that are available for employees who may realize that they need support. If you haven’t yet conducted mental health manager training or literacy training, consider doing so either before or in conjunction with your mental health week activities.
4. Bring in an expert, or experts to help
Hold a professionally facilitated workshop, talk, or training, or perhaps even a series of sessions. Ensure that sessions give employees both education and tangible takeaways. Empowering employees with tools to support their own mental health and contribute to a mentally supportive workplace is a critical part of the process. An effective strategy will go broader and deeper with additional actions, but providing this expertise is a core component.
5. Keep it simple
Don’t try to run before you walk. Build your mental health approach in a sustainable way. The video below offers one simple tip that you can implement right away at your workplace to help build resilience.
A Simple Action You Can Do Today
What is one action you can take to help your workplace acknowledge mental health this season? Whether it’s an activity like a workshop or simply starting a conversation with a colleague or leader in which you discuss resources, any step forward is progress.
Right now, take a minute to write down one step in your agenda or on your priority list so it stays on the top of your radar. Choose a date to have it completed so you can maintain forward momentum.
Drawing on her 20+ years of experience in clinical counselling and advisory workplace psychology, Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier works with organizations and groups to improve their health and well-being, decrease risk of burnout, and increase performance through resiliency.
Bilingual in French and English, if you’re interested in learning more about Marie-Hélène and what she can bring to your next event, contact us at [email protected].