Help Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Health in the Workplace and “have THAT talk”

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There is no health without mental health and this week, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada have launched a new video campaign to help Canadians to ‘have THAT talk’ about mental health in the workplace.

The videos provide realistic examples and strategies for each of the 13 factors that are part of a mentally healthy and safe workplace. These factors include psychological and social support, balance, engagement, workload management, growth/development, clear leadership and expectations, psychological protection, organizational culture, involvement/influence, protection and physical safety, civility and respect, recognition and reward, and psychological demands.

Mental health is often heard but rarely acknowledged. It is every bit as important as physical health in the workplace and yet its importance is not emphasized nearly as much. Moreover, mental health disability claims have actually overtaken cardiovascular disease as the fastest growing category of disability costs in Canada.

As Chair of the Board of Health, I believe these videos start conversation and are incredibly useful tools for any employer to use in analyzing the overall mental health of their workplace. Oftentimes, people may not even be aware that there is a problem until it is too late – that is the stigma which still surrounds mental health to this day.

I encourage everyone to take a moment to watch some of the videos and put themselves in another worker’s position. Then, have THAT talk with those around you. You might be surprised at the results.

The video series was developed by Ottawa Public Health and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, with content adapted from Mindful Employer Canada and support from Bell Let’s Talk. The white-board illustration-style videos are based on content from the voluntary National Standard  for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

For more information on the campaign, please visit haveTHATtalk.ca or call the OPH Information Line at 613-580-6744. Thank you for being a part of the solution.