Mental Health Awareness - How Corporate Programs Promote Mental Wellness



Your mental health is essential to your overall well being especially during times of uncertainty. In Canada we have the opportunity to keep the conversation going during Mental Health Awareness Week (October 4-10) and on World Mental Health Day (October 10). Acknowledging the importance of caring for your mental health is the beginning of a healthy lifestyle.


According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “Mental fitness helps us achieve and sustain a state of good mental health. When we are mentally healthy, we enjoy our life and environment, and the people in it.” Throughout the challenges of life, you stand a better chance of dealing with difficulties when your mental health is in good shape.


Approximately 20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.


Mental health at work

Since most people spend the greater part of their days at work, it is critical for employers to promote mental wellness. Corporate wellness plans should not simply be a perk of being employed with a certain company. Employees are not just looking for great compensation, but they also need a comprehensive wellness program to support their total being. The Mental Health Commission of Canada says that employers have an essential role to play to ensure their staff have the tools needed to be a truly productive contributor, “...it can also be a stressful environment that contributes to the rise of mental health problems and illnesses. No workplace is immune from these risks and we cannot afford to limit our definition of occupational health and safety to only the physical.”


The rising cost of not supporting mental health is another astounding reality that is steadily rising, “About 30 percent of short and long term disability claims in Canada are attributed to mental health problems and illnesses. The total cost from mental health problems to the Canadian economy exceeds $50 billion annually.”


Covid-19 & mental health at work

Life in general is stressful; but, needless to say, the tension that comes with unprecedented global events certainly intensifies the pressure. With more people working from home, it may seem like there is increased productivity, but it is likely stress induced which compromises the quality of work. While the daily commute may have been eliminated, longer hours in front of a laptop has resulted in less family and personal time. The inability to intentionally spend time building on personal health and wellness can directly impact your mental health. There’s never been a more important time to focus on the well being of every employee.


In addition to working from home, employees are juggling childcare, virtual learning, and/or caring for vulnerable family members while being isolated. There are also financial challenges that may have been a direct result of the government mandated lock down. When employers take these things into consideration and truly support mental health, their employees are happier and more resilient. Ultimately, healthier employees are more productive and have higher levels of engagement at work.


Support for employees working from home


Despite the uncertainty that comes with a pandemic, technology continues to provide tremendous opportunities. Various organizations have utilized HealthCasa to bring health and wellness to home offices through virtual healthcare services, such as:



Wellness Sessions (‘lunch and learns’)

Employees participate in engaging sessions about a variety of topics including: nutrition and sleep; work-life balance; stress management; and, immunity support.


Mindfulness Meditation

This ancient practice is scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, improve sleep, focus, concentration and boost energy levels. Participants learn the art of mindfulness meditation to improve emotional regulation, reduce stress and anxiety.


Yoga

Employees learn about the importance of maintaining regular yoga practice to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body. Yoga can reduce lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome while improving a person’s mental well being.


All health and wellness services are facilitated by certified healthcare professionals including, a registered Psychologist, Physiotherapist, Dietitian, Naturopathic Doctor, Holistic Nutritionist,Yoga and Meditation Instructor.


Here’s what some HealthCasa corporate clients are saying:


“HealthCasa provides a broad range of webinars on a variety of topics presented by knowledgeable and interesting practitioners and creates an entire webinar experience taking some of the pressure off the HR team in setting up events.”

Natasha Halliday, CHRP , Human Resources Generalist, Spin Master Ltd.

“Mental health is one of the four pillars of our well-being program. We choose HealthCasa to provide health and wellness sessions for our employees because they offer good value, are easy to work with and provide excellent customer service.

Lisa Cunningham, Director, Knowledge Management and Professional Development, Wildeboer Dellelce LLP

“In 2020, we’ve made a commitment to the health and well-being of our employees and introduced our wellness program – Wellness Workdays. Partnering with HealthCasa we’ve been able to expand our wellness program to offer customizable virtual sessions for our employees. From mindfulness to ergonomic workshops, HealthCasa’s health and wellness experts have led informative sessions for our employees.”

Samantha Ross, Manager, Total Rewards, First Capital Realty

Workplace Wellness Tips



Heather Lillico, Registered Holistic Nutritionist,Yoga and Meditation instructor with HealthCasa provides timely advice for employers trying to support the mental health of their staff:


Make employee mental health a priority

It is critical for employers to take the initiative especially during tough times, “With this extra stress and anxiety comes a risk of burnout and employee absenteeism. A business case can be made for promoting employee mental health, but more importantly, from a human perspective everyone needs a little extra support right now.”


Explore the possibilities

Employees will respond in different ways according to what resonates with them. It’s important to take the time to learn what works best for your group, “Taking a holistic approach to mental health is important. It works well to have various offerings for employees depending on their interests. Explore and find out what works for your company.”


Model the behaviour through leadership

Everyone will take notice when their superiors don't just talk about it, but actively participates in these programs, “Employees know when management attends a wellness session that it's part of the company culture and encouraged for employees to attend as well.”


Getting Started

Whether your entire team is working from home or periodically coming into the office, supporting everyone’s mental health should remain a priority. Visit our website to find out how HealthCasa can support your team at home through group wellness sessions or at home through individual healthcare appointments.


Discover all the benefits of mobile healthcare with HealthCasa on your side. Our team includes certified practitioners in Registered Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Chiropody and Orthotics throughout Toronto.


Services are available online and in person 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Greater Toronto Area and adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols according to Toronto Public Health guidelines. Click HERE to book your Chiropody, Orthotics, Physiotherapy or Registered Massage Therapy appointment within the Toronto area.


Sources:

https://toronto.cmha.ca/documents/benefits-of-good-mental-health/

https://www.camh.ca/en/camh-news-and-stories/discussing-mental-health-remains-as-important-as-ever

https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/what-we-do/workplace


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