It's a business model that's helping put to rest a longstanding corporate stigma. The notion that hiring someone with a disability is more of a burden than an opportunity. These are some of the trailblazing companies and captains of industry fighting those stereotypes and seeing a huge return to their bottom line.
Mental health days are vital to many professionals' long-term work performance and well-being. Many employees opt to stay home due to pronounced feelings of distress, burnout, anxiety, depression, etc. A common misconception of a mental health day is the admission of feeling overwhelmed, being unable to cope, using an excuse to stay home and do something fun, or portraying an act of corporate disloyalty. However, this is NOT the case by any means ...
Addictions are a heavy topic. We all have some opinion about it, know someone who struggles with it, or have heard about it on the news (“crack-smoking mayor of Toronto” anyone?). Addiction involves the compulsive use of substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, or behaviours such as gambling, shopping, or sex, which are done compulsively and interfere with daily life.
Inspired by mental illness and the workplace, Canadian illustrator Harrison Wheeler, a former vice principal and mental health advocate aims to create transformative artwork based on his lived experiences with bipolar disorder and addictions. From overcoming 10+ years in recovery, Wheeler attributes his creative spirit as a driving force for self-actualization, which led him to surpass the mental, physical, and spiritual adversities present in his life.
The rise of absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace due to mental health concerns is on the rise. Last week, the Montreal Gazette reported on the $412 Million paid by taxpayers for medical leaves in the Quebec Health network in 2014-2015. They go on to indicate that the majority of claims were reportedly due to employee burnout and mental health concerns. ... read on to find out how we can start to prevent this!
What does a semicolon have to do with mental health?
When it becomes a symbol for the resilience of people with mental health issues, a lot. Project Semicolon was founded in as an anti-stigma and mental health awareness movement. A semicolon is “used when an author could've ended a sentence but chose not to” (Project Semicolon, 2016). In this way, it represents the experiences of those with depression, addiction, self-harm, and suicide, and solidarity with their choice to continue to live (Project Semicolon, 2016).
Are you concerned about the health of an employee or colleague? Has their behavior changed recently? Do they not seem like their usual self? Although it may not be your role to diagnose a mental health problem or provide counseling, (that is what health professionals are for) if you are concerned about the mental health of a colleague/peer, there are ways you can help. Start with a conversation and ask "are you okay?".
Based on our research and work with companies, we were unfortunately not surprised to hear the statistic that over half of Canadian companies do not have a mental health policy. Workplaces have developed extensive physical health and safety policies (think WHIMIS, accident protocols, physical health reimbursement policies) but these policies typically do not take the importance or potential impact of mental health