Working Towards the Charter

The Charter for Canadian Employers
Supporting Workplace Mental Health

Here we take the six goals of the Charter and provide ideas and resources to help you get started in taking action. Many are free so even if you have no budget to work with there is a way to make a difference.

Another approach is to use your own staff to develop practical and successful strategies by tapping into their innovation, creativity and enthusiasm. Once you have signed the Charter, you can engage staff in brainstorming sessions that focus on practical and cost efficient strategies for each of the principles.

You probably already have resources and strategies that you have been using to achieve similar goals such as improving performance, productivity, teamwork, or wellness. All of these contribute to a mentally healthy workplace. Make sure you take time to identify and celebrate the work you have already done to support positive workplace mental health in your organization.

You may also download a PDF of these ideas and resources for future reference.

Includes working towards:

  • Promoting a mentally healthy workplace
  • Supporting success for employees with mental health concerns

Some ideas and resources to get started:

  • Subscribe to Working Through It emails – a free awareness building approach.
  • Invite a mental health consultant or organization such as Canadian Mental Health Association or Mental Health Commission of Canada to speak to employees about mental health and mental illnesses.
  • Take part in a mental health awareness campaign such as Not Myself Today, Bell Let’s Talk, Clara’s Big Ride, Working Through It
  • Subscribe to Moods Magazine and leave it out for employees to read about individuals who live and thrive with mental illness.
  • Provide a list of local mental health resources that employees can turn to.

Includes working towards:

  • Eliminating discrimination throughout the entire employment life cycle

Some ideas and resources to get started:

Includes working towards:

  • Supporting success at work for those who experience mental illness

Some ideas and resources to get started:

  • Review the return to work process found on Workplace Strategies for Mental Health and work with your team to refine for your organization.
  • Have a representative from your human rights commission come and give an awareness session for your whole staff on discrimination in general and as it relates to mental illness.
  • Enroll in the Mindful Employer In-House program to provide ongoing support to those who support, manage or lead employees including training on accommodation.

Includes working towards:

  • Increasing the ability and awareness of supervisors and managers to support performance and productivity in spite of a mental illness

Some ideas and resources to get started:

  • Have your front-line supervisors learn how to manage performance when mental health is an issue in the Supportive Performance Management section on Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.
  • Have supervisors complete the module Managing Performance from Managing Mental Health Matters.
  • Suggest that managers learn communication skills including appreciative inquiry and emotional intelligence to improve their effectiveness.
  • Enroll in the Mindful Employer In-House program to provide ongoing support to those who support, manage or lead employees.

Includes working towards:

  • Eliminating stigma and linking staff to credible and practical resources – in the community, through your benefit providers, and online resources

Some ideas and resources to get started:

  • Check with your community mental health agencies such as Canadian Mental Health Association, Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia Society, etc.
  • Speak to your benefits provider including group insurance, internal wellness services and EAP about resources they have to offer to your employees. Some may be included in your package.
  • Consider introducing elder care leave and personal days to help support staff through stressful times
  • Rethink flex time for employees making it possible for them to work from home during inclement weather or when they’re caring for an ill family member.
  • Check out online support such as those found in the Depression, Anxiety and Other Conditions section of Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.
  • Consider a Peer Support program as a way for employees to receive ongoing and non-judgemental support from those with lived experience.

Includes working towards:

  • Developing mindful managers

Some ideas and resources to get started:

  • Enroll in the Mindful Employer In-House program to provide ongoing support to those who support, manage or lead employees.
  • Encourage and recognize those who belong to the Mindful Manager community of practice.
  • Suggest that all supervisors and managers complete the free online training Managing Mental Health Matters.
  • Look into live training offered by organizations that specialize in supporting employees with mental illnesses.
  • Consider coaching for managers who are experiencing particularly challenging situations.
  • Know what your EAP offers. Call in and ask them questions so you can tell employees what the experience was like. Some EAP’s are piloting online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for employees which is having a positive response.