This is Mental Health Week in Canada. Partners in Mental Health, a national charitable organization that was borne from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, are running a campaign called Not Myself Today. They are focussing on building mentally healthy workplaces and are inviting organizations to participate to support areas of awareness, education and public engagement campaigns. A number of prominent companies have already signed on.
Why is this important? According to information from the Canadian Medical Association, only 23% of employees said they would discuss their mental health with employers. 44% of employees say they have or have had mental health issues. There is clearly a disconnect.
A toolkit is made available for organization that sign on, including activities, case studies, resource sheets, information tools and more.
From the press release from Partners for Mental Health:
Jeff Moat, President of Partners for Mental Health, says, “With nearly half of Canadians stating that their work and place of work is the most stressful part of the day, and another 16% saying that their workplace is frequently the source of feelings of depressions, anxiety and other mental illness, it is clear that initiatives like Not Myself Today are vital in addressing the overall health of Canadians.”
A 2013 Ipsos Reid survey on mental health, commissioned by Partners for Mental Health, also showed that 40% of Canadians say they would not be comfortable working in an environment with someone who is experiencing mental illness, which further perpetuates the secrecy and shame surrounding mental illness and the associated stigma. Not Myself Today aims to address mental health in the workplace as well as break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
They have also put together a mini-toolkit for individuals (I especially like the mood stickers).
The Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario will also be holding a Twitter chat on Wednesday, May 7 at 2 pm ET using the tag #mhw14