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Mental Health – Let’s Talk!

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Let’s Talk Day – Canada’s national day for mental health awareness sponsored by Bell – is Wednesday, January 29th. This is the day when, after much buildup, the media promotes mental health awareness and Bell donates a portion of its revenue to this important cause.

But can we really talk for a minute? It’s difficult for employees – and their managers – to deal with mental health issues every day. True, there are services out there for people in distress, but it can be daunting to ask for help. And when you’re not well the system, which can be a maze at the best of times, is more baffling to navigate. Employee Assistance Plans are there to help both employees and employers, but often, more is needed.

In support of employers, CAMH (the Center for Addiction and Mental Health) has just released The Workplace Mental Health Playbook for Business Leaders. This is a brief, insightful document that provides some direction for managers with employees suffering mental illness, and highlights best practices for managers welcoming an employee back from leave, ensuring a positive experience for everyone. With over 500,000 Canadians missing work each week due to mental illness, this is timely and necessary.

But I encourage you not to simply add this to document your library; instead, embed its spirit and the processes it espouses in the culture of your organization. As the playbook says, “it’s the right thing to do for your employees, and for your bottom line.”

Stay healthy!

Lizann

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