Is your workplace making your mentally unhealthy?

Is your work­place mak­ing your men­tally unhealthy?

ABC Health (Aus­tralia) reports;

  • Half of employ­ees believe their work­place is men­tally unhealthy.
  • Fac­tors can con­tribute include: prob­lems with the job itself,difficult rela­tion­ships with col­leagues or man­agers, organ­i­sa­tional fac­tors, thier issues hap­pen­ing in the employee’s life indi­vid­ual fac­tors, such as per­son­al­ity, cop­ing style and level of resilience.
  • Men­tal ill­ness costs to the econ­omy are the lead­ing rea­son for absen­teeism, with one in five tak­ing time off due to men­tal health issues in the past year (edi­tor note: Aus­tralian stats).

http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2014/07/07/4040588.htm

Ingrid Ozols, man­ag­ing direc­tor of MentalHealth@Work (a provider of work­place men­tal health edu­ca­tion, train­ing and strate­gic pro­gram devel­op­ment) says pre­sen­teeism, when peo­ple go to work despite being injured or unwell, also hurts business’s bot­tom line.

Pre­sen­teeism is when the lights are on but no-one is home. Some­one is star­ing at the com­puter but on autopi­lot. It is hard to observe and quan­tify but is a great bur­den to work­places of all shapes and sizes,” she says.

But it’s not a sim­ple equa­tion of a prob­lem­atic work­place dam­ag­ing staff men­tal health. Dr Sam Har­vey, con­sul­tant psy­chi­a­trist and head of the Work­place Men­tal Health Research Group (a part­ner­ship between The Black Dog Insti­tute and UNSW), says “work­place men­tal health is a com­plex inter­ac­tion between indi­vid­u­als, their cop­ing and resilience skills, and their jobs.

Many peo­ple work in stress­ful sit­u­a­tions and they don’t get unwell. We are only now start­ing to look at what it is about their resilience and cop­ing mechanisms.


About Home­wood Health

Home­wood Health is the Cana­dian leader in men­tal health and addic­tion ser­vices. With over 130 years of expe­ri­ence, we achieve out­stand­ing out­comes every day through our national net­work of nearly 4,000 employ­ees and clin­i­cal experts, and through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre — one of Canada’s largest and lead­ing facil­i­ties for med­ical treat­ment of men­tal health and addic­tion dis­or­ders. Our com­plete suite of ser­vices includes orga­ni­za­tional well­ness, employee and fam­ily assis­tance pro­grams, assess­ments, out­pa­tient and inpa­tient treat­ment, recov­ery man­age­ment, return to work and fam­ily sup­port ser­vices, cus­tomized to meet the spe­cial­ized needs of indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions. Home­wood Health is redefin­ing men­tal health and addic­tion ser­vices to help Cana­di­ans live health­ier, more pro­duc­tive and more ful­fill­ing lives.

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Health, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

Open plan offices rates as ‘unhealthiest’ work environments

Find­ings from a recent Canada research fojnd that over a quar­ter of employ­ees say their work­ing envi­ron­ment pro­motes stress.

When asked to rank how easy it was to be healthy in their work­ing environment:

  • employ­ees scored their work­places an aver­age of 6.3 out of 10,
  • open plan offices received a 6.1 rating
  • employ­ees who mostly worked from home rat­ing their envi­ron­ment at 8.1.
  • Many office-based work­ers favoured the idea of out­side areas in the work­place as well as health ben­e­fits, with a third of pri­vate office work­ers (33%) and 32% of open plan office work­ers say­ing they would like an out­side seat­ing area to get fresh air or stretch their legs.
  • Office work­ing also appeared to encour­age unhealthy eat­ing pat­terns, with 19% admit­ting to eat­ing lunch at their desk as they did not have time to eat a proper lunch.
  • 28% of respon­dents work­ing in open plan offices said that their work­ing envi­ron­ment caused stress (5% of home work­ers say­ing this was the case).
  • The find­ings also indi­cated that office work­ing envi­ron­ments were more likely to induce headaches and other ill­nesses, with over a third (34%) of employ­ees in open plan offices say­ing that they suf­fered from a lack of fresh air.

When asked about pos­si­ble solutions:

  •  38% of respon­dents said they would like to have healthy liv­ing or weight loss clubs available
  • 22% said they would like to see an employee and fam­ily assis­tance pro­gram offered.

Canada Life mar­ket­ing direc­tor Paul Avis commented:

We spend the major­ity of our time at work, so it’s not sur­pris­ing that the type of envi­ron­ment you work in can have such a sig­nif­i­cant impact on your health and well­be­ing. Employ­ers have a duty to ensure they are pro­vid­ing an appro­pri­ate and com­fort­able work­space and encour­age their employ­ees to take reg­u­lar breaks away from their desks. With ill­ness already prone to spread­ing in office envi­ron­ments, it’s cru­cial to offer a work­space that cul­ti­vates good health and well­be­ing rather than dam­ages it. It’s par­tic­u­larly con­cern­ing that a quar­ter of employ­ees feel their men­tal well­be­ing is being neg­a­tively affected by their work envi­ron­ment: stress is a major cause of long-term absence and can be hugely detri­men­tal to both employee and employer.”

 


About Home­wood Health

Home­wood Health is the Cana­dian leader in men­tal health and addic­tion ser­vices. With over 130 years of expe­ri­ence, we achieve out­stand­ing out­comes every day through our national net­work of nearly 4,000 employ­ees and clin­i­cal experts, and through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre — one of Canada’s largest and lead­ing facil­i­ties for med­ical treat­ment of men­tal health and addic­tion dis­or­ders. Our com­plete suite of ser­vices includes orga­ni­za­tional well­ness, employee and fam­ily assis­tance pro­grams, assess­ments, out­pa­tient and inpa­tient treat­ment, recov­ery man­age­ment, return to work and fam­ily sup­port ser­vices, cus­tomized to meet the spe­cial­ized needs of indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions. Home­wood Health is redefin­ing men­tal health and addic­tion ser­vices to help Cana­di­ans live health­ier, more pro­duc­tive and more ful­fill­ing lives.

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Health, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

 

Mental Health Resources from Benefits Canada

In recent months, Ben­e­fits Canada has done a remark­able job of pulling together infor­ma­tion, edi­to­ri­als, and links to a vari­ety of valu­able men­tal health resources. Here are a few that we have selected from their pub­lished articles.

Work can neg­a­tively affect employ­ees’ men­tal health
Forty-seven per­cent of Cana­di­ans say that work and their work­place is the most stress­ful part of their lives, accord­ing to a survey.

Men­tal health an ongo­ing con­cern for employ­ers
The increased inci­dence of men­tal dis­or­ders across Canada, com­bined with the grow­ing costs of pre­scrip­tion drugs used to treat men­tal health issues and the lack of access to timely treat­ment, is an ongo­ing finan­cial con­cern for busi­nesses and government.

Lack of work/life bal­ance, job inse­cu­rity lead to men­tal health issues
Job inse­cu­rity, abu­sive super­vi­sion, exces­sive demands, the encroach­ment of work on fam­ily life and domes­tic rela­tion­ship prob­lems top the list of fac­tors that con­tribute to the devel­op­ment of men­tal health issues among workers.

Take an inte­grated approach to work­place men­tal health
Employee men­tal health is a grow­ing chal­lenge for employ­ers, and it’s rec­og­nized as the No. 1 cause of lost pro­duc­tiv­ity in the workplace.

MHCC intro­duces work­place men­tal health guide
The Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion of Canada (MHCC) has launched a new guide to help employ­ers pro­tect the men­tal health of employees.

Rec­og­niz­ing the warn­ing signs of men­tal dis­tress
Peo­ple lead­ers often strug­gle with man­ag­ing employ­ees when there seems to be a per­sonal issue impact­ing job per­for­mance, espe­cially when there could be an emerg­ing men­tal health issue at play.

Psy­cho­log­i­cal Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employ­ers
The Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion of Canada (MHCC) has cre­ated a work­place guide on men­tal health, Psy­cho­log­i­cal Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employ­ers. Down­load the guide from the MHCC’s web­site.

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Federal executives plead for assistance with stress and depression

The Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sional Exec­u­tives of the Pub­lic Ser­vice of Canada (APEX) is urg­ing the gov­ern­ment to adopt the Men­tal Health Commission’s national stan­dard for psy­cho­log­i­cal health and safety in the work­place, along with ways to mea­sure progress in pro­mot­ing men­tal health in the pub­lic service.

This plea comes in the wake of APEX’s most recent study of the health of the government’s 6,560 exec­u­tives which is a sur­pris­ing reminder of how psy­cho­log­i­cally and phys­i­cally chal­leng­ing a work­place envi­ron­ment lack­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal health strate­gies can be:

  • the work­place was mak­ing some of 6500 of the government’s exec­u­tives sick;
  • the orga­ni­za­tional com­mit­ment of these exec­u­tives is on the decline;
  • 32% of exec­u­tives are dis­en­gaged, feel­ing dis­con­nected from their work and unable to deal with the jobs’ demands;
  • the exec­u­tives are more stressed than 75 per cent of Canadians;
  • the exec­u­tives feel they have lit­tle con­trol over their work, receive lit­tle sup­port from col­leagues and super­vi­sors and get scant recog­ni­tion for their efforts;
  • com­plaints abounded about inci­vil­ity in the work­place and harass­ing bosses;
  • approx­i­mately 25% of the exec­u­tives reported symp­toms of burnout, rang­ing from emo­tional exhaus­tion to cyn­i­cism and a declin­ing sense of accom­plish­ment and usefulness.

APEX made its rec­om­men­da­tions to Privy Coun­cil Clerk Wayne Wouters, who launched his Blue­print 2020 a year ago for input on the future pub­lic ser­vice. His final report, called Des­ti­na­tion 2020, is expected soon.

Lisanne Lacroix, APEX’s chief exec­u­tive offi­cer, said the orga­ni­za­tional health of depart­ments and agen­cies is crit­i­cal to the psy­cho­log­i­cal health of employ­ees. She said unman­aged work stress has a “neg­a­tive impact” on the health of employ­ees, which in turn affects the effec­tive­ness and pro­duc­tiv­ity of organizations.

For more, read the source: Ottawa Cit­i­zen

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Health. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Keeping Our Customers Fit and Healthy, Away From Home

Con­grat­u­la­tions to our Orga­ni­za­tional Well­ness Team!

Dur­ing a two-day event in Feb­ru­ary, our Home­wood Health Orga­ni­za­tional Well­ness team launched a large employer’s cus­tomized health and well­ness pro­gram. The project was specif­i­cally designed for the employ­ees reach their health and well­ness goals.

The Orga­ni­za­tional Well­ness team engaged with employ­ees look­ing to address a vari­ety of health and well­ness issues rang­ing from nutri­tion and fit­ness, to coun­selling and coach­ing. The pro­gram was sup­ported through our long-standing EFAP, as well as the inte­gra­tion of Per­sonal Train­ing and Health Coaching

Employ­ees enthu­si­as­ti­cally embraced the pro­gram and were sur­prised by the num­ber of spe­cial­ity pro­grams avail­able. Shift­work, smok­ing ces­sa­tion and nutri­tional coun­selling were among the hot top­ics dri­ving employ– ees to make health­ier choices.

We received com­ments such as:

“This is so cool, when can I start!?”

“The [pro­gram] makes my ben­e­fits approach­able and easy to understand”

This remark­able event reflects our team’s com­mit­ment to ‘accel­er­at­ing our rev­enue growth’ by expand­ing the scope of ser­vices we offer clients and tai­lor­ing pro­grams to meet their spe­cific needs.

——————————————————————————-

How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Could a worksite wellness program be hazardous to your health?

An inter­est­ing take on the fast-growing plethora of “well­ness” pro­grams (and we use those quotes inten­tion­ally). Per­haps not as ripe with poten­tial harm as the snake-oil of yes­ter­year, there are cer­tainly some pit­falls to avoid in the plan­ning and selec­tion of who may be that ‘provider of choice’ for your own well­ness program.

Three Sur­pris­ing Haz­ards of Work­site Well­ness Pro­grams” is an edi­to­r­ial just released in Forbes (Feb 4) and the author opines on just this…in the con­text of a comic book pro­posal, if you can believe.

Although geared towards cau­tious crit­i­cism of Oba­macare and work­site well­ness pro­grams ‘requir­ing’ par­tic­i­pa­tion, have a read. Though Home­wood Health does not endorse any of the com­ments expressed by the author of the edi­to­r­ial (e.g. “these pro­grams apply equal mea­sures of coer­cion and dis­paragmenet toward the peo­ple they are sup­posed to help” we do agree that more care­ful and informed plan­ning is needed before an employer makes that all impor­tant selec­tion choice.

Reflect­ing on a book “Sur­viv­ing Work­place Wellness…with Your Dig­nity” the author of the edi­to­r­ial has this thesis:

The authors [of Sur­viv­ing Work­place Well­ness] agree that the work­site well­ness move­ment is not only a pri­vacy haz­ard, but a health haz­ard and busi­ness haz­ard to boot. While some of us might be will­ing to tol­er­ate a cer­tain amount of pri­vacy loss if we thought it would improve our health and save some money, Lewis and Khanna make a com­pelling case that poorly designed well­ness pro­grams don’t help at all. In fact, these pro­grams in the well­ness busi­ness 1) dis­may and alien­ate employ­ees, pre­cisely the oppo­site goal of a health “ben­e­fit,” 2) fail to reduce health costs, and 3) harm employee health.

And…

A well-designed well­ness pro­gram does not threaten to dock Superman’s pay if he doesn’t get a cho­les­terol test. A good one might instead add a salad bar to the Daily Planet cafe­te­ria. The lat­ter doesn’t sound like some­thing Perry White would do, but after all the Chief has never been the model of a good boss.

Apart from mak­ing the case of the need for evidence-based proac­tive well­ness planning,

Read the source edi­to­r­ial here.

The rec­om­mended solution?

And for those would appre­ci­ate a solu­tion to this, we offer some of the fol­low­ing “dos” in EAP and well­ness provider selec­tion  EAP­Buy­ers­Guide

  1. When eval­u­at­ing Employee Assis­tance Pro­grams, make cer­tain that you are com­par­ing “apples to apples.” Com­pare the indi­vid­ual ser­vice pack­ages and how they best meet your needs. Resist “cost shop­ping” and sim­ply choos­ing your EAP based on low­est price alone. A qual­ity EAP will offer a fair price, a full-service pack­age and respon­sive service.
  2. The range of EAP ser­vices — cri­sis response, con­sul­ta­tion, assess­ment, refer­ral, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and man­age­ment sup­port – these are the crit­i­cal com­po­nents and the keys to deter­min­ing the right fit and the right choice of EAP.
  3. A full-service Employee Assis­tance Pro­gram should pro­vide the Buyer with a set of com­pre­hen­sive, inte­grated EAP ser­vices that meet the needs of the orga­ni­za­tion, the employ­ees and their dependents:
  •  (e.g. con­fi­den­tial 24-hour any­time, any­where counseling,
  • Tele­coun­selling,
  • Online coun­sel­ing,
  • Assess­ment and referral,
  • R]ferral follow-up,
  • Dis­abil­ity management,
  • Crit­i­cal inci­dent response,
  • Edu­ca­tion and train­ing in men­tal health and related issues for man­age­ment and leaders,
  • Edu­ca­tion and train­ing for employ­ees in per­sonal health
  • Maintenance/improvement, inte­grated sub­stance abuse assess­ment and inter­ven­tion (access to in-patient ser­vices for advanced interventions),
  • Pro­fes­sion­ally cre­den­tialed coun­selors and allied coun­sel­ing and well­ness staff.
  • Guar­an­teed health-information con­fi­den­tial­ity (e.g. HIPAA compliance)
  • EAP cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (e.g. Coun­cil CON Accred­i­ta­tion, COA compliance)
  • Aware­ness materials
  • And var­i­ous other value-add ser­vice com­po­nents (e.g. work-life services).

The list is too expan­sive and com­pre­hen­sive to list here, so con­sider read­ing “EAP­Buy­ers­Guide”.

——————————————————————————–

How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

In the news: Trends in Mental Health and Addictions

MENTAL HEALTH

Skep­ti­cism greets resump­tion of talks to reduce sui­cide toll Canada.com. Decem­ber 23, 2013

Pref­er­ences for Men­tal Health Treat­ment Options among Alaska Native Col­lege Stu­dents Amer­i­can Indian and Alaska Native Men­tal Health Research, 2013

Pedophilia Is A Sex­ual Ori­en­ta­tion, Cana­dian Experts Say  Oppos­ing View. Decem­ber 24, 2013

Mar­t­inuk: Sui­cide pre­ven­tion plans at odds with right to die Cal­gary Her­ald. Jan­u­ary 3, 2014

ADDICTION

Sur­vey shows increased drug use by P.E.I. stu­dents The Guardian — Decem­ber 19, 2013

B.C. strug­gles with how to treat the most severe of men­tally ill drug addicts Bran­don Sun. Decem­ber 27, 2013

No more hang­overs? New ‘alco­hol sur­ro­gate’ comes with anti­dote that can make you sober again in min­utes National Post — Decem­ber 30, 2013

Alco­hol abuse pro­grams in B.C., Ams­ter­dam use mod­er­a­tion  Man­aged alco­hol pro­grams give beer, wine, spir­its as part of treat­ment
CBC News — Jan­u­ary 6, 2014

Doc­tors should screen all adult patients for binge drink­ing: CDC report CTV News — Jan­u­ary 7, 2014

Drug and alco­hol abuse high among Yukon min­ers Alaska Dis­patch — Jan­u­ary 7, 2014

Canada’s pre­scrip­tion opi­oid cri­sis
Healthy Debate — Jan­u­ary 9, 2014

Dan­ger­ous new methadone 24 Hours Van­cou­ver — Jan­u­ary 11, 2014

Abbots­ford to review ban on harm-reduction ser­vices Globe and Mail — Jan­u­ary 13, 2014

Prince Edward Island men­tal health ser­vices stretched The Guardian Char­lot­te­town ? Jan­u­ary 7, 2014

WORKPLACE

Work­place well­ness pro­grams can cut chronic ill­ness costs

Man­ag­ing employ­ees with men­tal health issues: Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of con­cep­tual and pro­ce­dural knowl­edge for devel­op­ment within man­age­ment edu­ca­tion cur­ric­ula. A Mar­tin, M Woods, S Dawkins — Acad­emy of Man­age­ment Learn­ing & Edu­ca­tion, 2014

RESEARCH / HEALTH

‘Rage dis­or­der’ may be treat­able with Aspirin, study sug­gests Canada.com  Decem­ber 30, 2013

Cana­dian Net­work to Pro­duce a Top 10 List of New and Emerg­ing Health Tech­nolo­gies in Canada CNW Jan­u­ary 8, 2014

Ket­a­mine acts as anti­de­pres­sant by boost­ing sero­tonin EurekAlert! — Jan­u­ary 7, 2014

One Ques­tion May Gauge Sever­ity of Unhealthy Drug, Alco­hol Use Sci­ence Daily — Jan­u­ary 13, 2013

——————————————————————————–

How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Investing in Employees’ Health Leads to Increased Productivity

An annual gain of 10 hours in pro­duc­tive time for work­ers who improve health!
Work­place health pro­mo­tion pro­grams that improve employee health can lead to sig­nif­i­cant increases in pro­duc­tiv­ity — and asso­ci­ated cost sav­ings, reports a study in the Octo­ber Jour­nal of Occu­pa­tional and Envi­ron­men­tal Med­i­cine, offi­cial pub­li­ca­tion of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Occu­pa­tional and Envi­ron­men­tal Med­i­cine (ACOEM).“Participating in health pro­mo­tion pro­grams can help improve pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els among employ­ees and save money for their employ­ers,” accord­ing to the study by Rebecca J. Mitchell, MPH, and col­leagues of OptumHealth, Golden Val­ley, Minn.The researchers ana­lyzed the pro­duc­tiv­ity effects of a pro­gram in which well­ness coaches pro­vided tele­phone sup­port to help employ­ees address health prob­lems or risks. The study used mea­sures of lost work time includ­ing absen­teeism as well as “pre­sen­teeism” — time spent at work with reduced productivity.The pro­gram led to sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in lost work time — equiv­a­lent to about 10.3 hours in addi­tional pro­duc­tive time per year. Sav­ings aver­aged about $350 per par­tic­i­pat­ing employee, com­pared to sim­i­lar work­ers who did not par­tic­i­pate in the well­ness program.The sav­ings were even greater for employ­ees who suc­cess­fully improved their health or low­ered health risk in at least one area. For a typ­i­cal employee, the gain in pro­duc­tive time amounted to about 0.5 percent.Effective health pro­mo­tion pro­grams lead to sav­ings in med­ical and absen­teeism costs. The new results “add to the grow­ing body of evi­dence that invest­ing in a healthy work­force can help to increase pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els of employ­ees,” Ms. Mitchell and coau­thors con­clude. How­ever, they add, “It takes time and com­mit­ment for pro­gram par­tic­i­pa­tion to yield success.”

Cita­tion — Mitchell RJ, Ozminkowski RJ, Serxner S. Improv­ing employee pro­duc­tiv­ity through improved health. J Occup Env­i­ron Med. 2013;55(10):1142–8.

——————————————————————————–

How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Employers play a critical role in de-stigmatizing mental illness

In the Octo­ber 2013 issue of Ben­e­fits Canada our own Judith Plotkin pro­vides com­men­tary on the crit­i­cal role employ­ers play in de-stigmatizing men­tal illness.

From the arti­cle, Judith notes:

Accord­ing to the Cana­dian Men­tal Health Asso­ci­a­tion (CMHA), stigma is a result of neg­a­tive stereo­types around men­tal ill­ness that con­tinue to be rein­forced in the media, which often depict the men­tally ill as vio­lent and unpre­dictable. In the work­place, employ­ees view col­leagues liv­ing with men­tal health con­di­tions with sus­pi­cion and ques­tion their capa­bil­i­ties, which can result in these employ­ees being over­looked for promotions.

A 2007 Ipsos Reid study found that 79% of North Amer­i­can work­ers think peo­ple would hide the fact that they had a men­tal ill­ness from their employ­ers to avoid hurt­ing poten­tial career oppor­tu­ni­ties. Almost 50% believe that if an employee is absent as a result of his or her men­tal ill­ness, he or she is likely to “get into trou­ble and maybe even fired.” And a sur­vey con­ducted in the United States found that more than half of employ­ers would be hes­i­tant to hire a per­son who is men­tally ill, while one-quarter would dis­miss an employee who had not dis­closed the ill­ness. It’s not sur­pris­ing, then, that the major­ity of peo­ple with a men­tal health con­di­tion keep quiet and don’t divulge their health sta­tus to their employers.

Depres­sion is the most preva­lent men­tal ill­ness. In fact, the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion has indi­cated that depres­sion is one of the world’s lead­ing causes of dis­abil­ity, with more than 350 mil­lion peo­ple of all ages cur­rently liv­ing with the ill­ness world­wide. For­tu­nately, depres­sion is extremely respon­sive to treatment—usually med­ica­tion, coun­selling or both. Once help is sought, 80% of peo­ple make pos­i­tive improve­ments allow­ing them to return to their reg­u­lar activ­i­ties, accord­ing to the CMHA. Yet many peo­ple do not seek help: they think they will sim­ply “snap out of it” or, because of the stigma, they are too embar­rassed to ask for it.

The longer depres­sion goes untreated, the harder it becomes to treat.

Depres­sion is also strik­ing younger and younger peo­ple: 3.2 mil­lion Cana­di­ans ages 12 to 19 are at risk for devel­op­ing depres­sion, accord­ing to the CMHA. In today’s increas­ingly com­pet­i­tive global econ­omy, Cana­dian busi­nesses can­not afford to lose skilled employ­ees in their prime work­ing years.

What the Num­bers Say

Judith quotes some dis­tress­ing num­bers in her com­men­tary. Specifically:

The 2011 Con­fer­ence Board of Canada study Build­ing Men­tally Healthy Work­places reveals the extent and preva­lence of men­tal health issues in the work­place. Of the more than 1,000 Cana­di­ans sur­veyed, 44% reported that they were cur­rently expe­ri­enc­ing (12%) or had pre­vi­ously expe­ri­enced (32%) a men­tal health issue. (This was based on a broad def­i­n­i­tion that included exces­sive stress, anx­i­ety, depres­sion, burnout, addic­tion and sub­stance abuse, mania, bipo­lar dis­or­der and schiz­o­phre­nia, among others.)

That sur­pris­ing fig­ure is behind esca­lat­ing ben­e­fits costs and dis­abil­ity claims. In the 2011 Con­fer­ence Board study, 78% of short-term dis­abil­ity claims and 67% of long-term dis­abil­ity claims in Canada were related to men­tal health issues. Cana­dian gov­ern­ment fig­ures show that more hos­pi­tal days are used by peo­ple with men­tal ill­nesses than are used by peo­ple with can­cer and heart dis­ease com­bined. A report by the Cana­dian Alliance on Men­tal Ill­ness and Men­tal Health stated that “depres­sion will be the sin­gle most expen­sive cause of lost work­place pro­duc­tiv­ity due to dis­abil­ity by 2020.” That’s just seven years away.

Eras­ing the Stigma

Judith notes “It’s not easy to change deeply entrenched atti­tudes toward men­tal ill­ness, but employ­ers can cer­tainly make inroads with their work­force. Doing so requires a corporate-wide strat­egy involv­ing lead­er­ship, man­age­r­ial skills, work­place cul­ture, and edu­ca­tion and communication.”

Four areas of focus in eras­ing stigma are, all of which need to be reviewed, sus­tained and reg­u­larly refined over time.according to main­tain the effec­tive­ness of ongo­ing men­tal health ini­tia­tives in eras­ing stigma and pro­mot­ing good men­tal health. Judith iden­ti­fies these areas as follows:

Lead­er­ship.

Change begins at the top; there­fore, endorse­ment and sup­port from senior lead­ers is essen­tial. Top man­age­ment must demon­strate lead­er­ship not only in pro­mot­ing good men­tal health but also in sup­port­ing employ­ees who are expe­ri­enc­ing men­tal health chal­lenges. Active endorse­ment and sup­port from unions and other employee asso­ci­a­tions also helps trans­form ideas into action.

Man­age­r­ial skills.

Man­agers are on the front lines of orga­ni­za­tional health and well-being. Not only are they able to iden­tify pro­duc­tiv­ity and behav­ioural issues early, they’re also instru­men­tal in sup­port­ing and accom­mo­dat­ing team mem­bers with phys­i­cal and men­tal ill­nesses and chal­lenges. Man­agers often set the tone for their team and directly influ­ence lev­els of stigma. While some man­agers are well informed about men­tal health issues, they often feel ill-equipped to dis­cuss these issues with employ­ees.  Pro­vid­ing appro­pri­ate and ongo­ing train­ing for man­agers at all lev­els to help them deal with men­tal health issues and under­stand how they can guide employ­ees to the appro­pri­ate resources is one of the most impor­tant ini­tia­tives that an orga­ni­za­tion can under­take. Most employee and fam­ily assis­tance pro­grams (EFAPs) offer this training.

Work­place culture.

Cre­at­ing an orga­ni­za­tional cul­ture that is truly inclu­sive and sup­port­ive of all employ­ees takes time but begins sim­ply by ask­ing a few ques­tions. Is there a company-wide pol­icy in place to pro­mote good men­tal and phys­i­cal health in the work­place? In addi­tion to pre­ven­tive mea­sures, there should be poli­cies and pro­to­cols in place that sup­port an employee with a men­tal ill­ness to return to work or stay at work. The work­place offers many pos­i­tive oppor­tu­ni­ties and resources that can help employ­ees recover or cope bet­ter: a sup­port­ive social net­work, feel­ings of self-worth, and access to EFAPs, return-to-work sup­port and other health and well­ness programs.

Edu­ca­tion and communication.

Edu­ca­tion is per­haps the most pow­er­ful weapon in fight­ing stereo­types or mis­in­for­ma­tion. Employ­ers can increase men­tal health lit­er­acy through work­shops, sem­i­nars, and lunch and learns, as well as through printed and web-based arti­cles and per­sonal sto­ries. Man­agers need to encour­age team mem­bers to par­tic­i­pate in edu­ca­tion and train­ing ses­sions and can fur­ther show their com­mit­ment by attend­ing these ses­sions with their direct reports. The company’s EFAP—as well as orga­ni­za­tions such as the CMHA, the Mood Dis­or­ders Soci­ety of Canada and the Cana­dian Health Network—can also pro­vide a wealth of mate­ri­als and support.

The impor­tance of men­tal health benefits

Finally, Judith notes:

In Canada’s health­care sys­tem, indi­vid­u­als who seek care for men­tal health issues typ­i­cally rely on an often-confusing array of providers, and nav­i­gat­ing these providers to find appro­pri­ate care is a chal­lenge. While men­tal ill­ness is an increas­ing cost dri­ver for employ­ers, pro­grams have not kept up with the spi­ralling needs of today’s employees.”

The impor­tance of robust men­tal health ben­e­fits as part of an organization’s over­all approach to health will become increas­ingly impor­tant. Many employ­ees find that get­ting help is just too hard, and some aren’t aware of the resources avail­able to them. Employ­ees need to know the ben­e­fits and ser­vices that their employer offers. This com­mu­ni­ca­tion should be an ongo­ing part of an organization’s over­all men­tal health ben­e­fits strat­egy. EFAPs, psy­cho­log­i­cal and psy­chi­atric con­sul­ta­tions, men­tal health assess­ments, com­plex claims sup­port from men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als, and work­place facil­i­ta­tion and medi­a­tion pro­grams are all ele­ments of a com­pre­hen­sive approach.

Judith Plotkin is vice-president, strate­gic oper­a­tions, with Home­wood Human Solutions.

For a PDF from Ben­e­fits Canada, click here.

Orig­i­nal source arti­cle here.

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.