Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day and League is taking part in the conversation. Mental health affects people of all ages and from all walks of life and today serves as a great reminder for Canadians to reflect, raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health — especially in the workplace.
We are in the midst of an evolution when it comes to the issue of mental health at work. Even though 57 percent of Canadians believe that the stigma associated with mental illness has been reduced over the past several years, more progress must be made to invoke change.
As an HR leader, I realize the important role employers play in fostering a psychologically safe and supportive culture. This means breaking down barriers and normalizing conversations around mental health. As discussions about mental health at work become commonplace, more employers are talking to their employees about their personal experiences with mental health. Unfortunately, their experiences seem to mostly be about how they supported other people with their mental health journey, or how someone else’s mental health affected them. This phenomenon sends a clear message to employees that while we know that mental health is an issue in the world, it continues to be a taboo subject in the workplace despite employers efforts to highlight its importance. Executives need to lead by example, taking time for self-care and sharing personal experiences, strategies, and struggles.
Offering perks such as mental health days, access to on-site professionals, concierge services and wellness workshops are vital in helping people feel supported at work, but it’s also important to open the lines of communication and have dialogue so people are encouraged to use those resources available and not be worried about the stigma attached to mental health.
Mental health isn’t black and white, but the more prepared you are and the more resources you have at your disposal, the better equipped you are to help. If you’re not sure where to start, visit League’s mental health toolkit for more resources on how to build better awareness around mental health issues, reduce stigma, and foster a safe and supportive culture.
Bell Let’s Talk Day may be an annual event, but supporting your employees’ mental well-being should be top of mind year round. Mental health affects everyone, so it’s our responsibility as leaders to meet the needs of our employees. To show our support, League is donating 10 percent of all marketplace purchases made today and, as they always do, Bell is going to donate 5 cents for each Tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, so so let’s band together and raise money and awareness for mental health!