‘Tis The Season To Be Stressed

15 Dec ‘Tis The Season To Be Stressed

Employee and Family Assistance Programs often see significant increases in access to services early in the New Year, after the holiday season ends, work routines resume, and holiday bills start to catch up. We wanted to focus on some of the tools available to build a psychologically healthy workplace.

As we know, the holidays can bring out the best in some, it can also lead to debilitating stress in others.

There are good reasons to pay attention to employees’ mental health:

  • 1 in 5 Canadians will face a mental health problem in any given year
  • In Canada, numbers in the workplace environment are even higher (1 in 4)
  • 500,000 Canadians will not be at work this week due to a mental issue
  • More than 30% of disability claims and 70% of disability costs are attributed to mental illness.

There are a variety of workplace tools that have emerged in recent years to help employers lift the stigma of mental health conversations in all areas of our lives. This move is aimed at inspiring earlier intervention when mental health issues arise, a cultural shift around an understanding of mental health issues, and ultimately, increase productivity.

The Standard has been championed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Available for free download, the document includes steps to establish commitment at the leadership level, understanding the needs of your organization, how to maintain confidentiality and policy establishment.

The implementation guide, Assembling the Pieces, is also available for download and is designed as a more practical tool to implement the programs, policies, benefits, training and assessment framework that is outlined in The Standard.

Also available as a free resource for employers is a series of videos. Have That Talk features whiteboard animations that describe the 13 factors that contribute to a psychologically healthy workplace, including workload management, recognition and reward, and achieving balance.

The holiday season may be a good time to remind employees of the support available through an employee and family assistance program (EFAP) if your benefits plan includes one.

EFAP services often include referral programs, substance abuse programs, and a variety of tools that can be used to treat and assist with depression or other mental health issues.

If you need more information about your EAP or how you can introduce one in your workplace, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.