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Key messages from the annual workplace mental health summit

By Tim Sandle     Apr 5, 2018 in Business
Toronto - Recently more than 1,000 people attended the annual workplace mental health summit. A series of Employers Connect events took place in eight Canadian cities. The events discussed new research and ideas to improve employee well-being.
Good mental health at work is a neglected subject, yet it one that employers should focus more on. This is because good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive.
The recent event in Canada was organized by Morneau Shepell, a human resources services and technology company, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. The company is a developer and the provider of the first manager certification training for workplace mental health in the world.
Many companies are starting to address the serious issue of poor mental health in the workplace. However, there remains some way to go, according to a U.K.-centric report titled "Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey." The report concluded that "too many men and women with mental health issues are suffering in silence in work, unable to seek help from colleagues or managers." One reason for the reticence is due to fears of prejudice and exclusion within the workplace.
Morneau Shepell has completed a round of Employers Connect summit events, running from January to April, 2018. The events took place in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax. At these events business leaders and human resources specialists attended to learn about research on workplace mental health and to hear from leading Canadian employers about how to manage workplace stress.
Through its recent research into Canadian employers and employees, Morneau Shepell discovered that nearly half (40 percent) of people managers and more than a third (34 percent) of employees reported suffering from extreme levels of stress over the six months leading up the survey. Furthermore, both groups ranked workplace stress higher than personal stress and indicated strong correlations to employee retention.
Commenting on this, in a message sent to Digital Journal, Paula Allen, vice president, research and analytic solutions, Morneau Shepell said: "There is an opportunity to improve support for coping and risk management in workplaces. Organizations that are looking to mitigate current and emerging risks should review their evaluation tools, adjust their mental health and wellness strategies, adapt their support resources to reflect change in the workplace, and consider practical ways for managers and employees to address mental health.
Paula Allen added: "These conversations are incredibly valuable, as they give us a chance to discover solutions for Canadian employers. The increased interest we have seen at Employers Connect events over the years speaks to the importance of workplace mental health and how collectively, if we get together and share ideas, we will continue to make a difference."
More about Mental health, workplace mental health, Depression
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