Mindful Employer Canada celebrates one year

Where has the time gone? As Mindful Employer Canada rounds the corner on our first year, we’d like to do a recap of where we’ve been and where we’re going – primarily because this is a great opportunity to thank all who have participated and encourage you to join us if you haven’t already!

Our vision

Our vision is for a society where stigma surrounding mental illness is eliminated and all employees are supported to flourish in healthy, productive workplaces to the best of their abilities. Mindful Employer Canada, along with Mindful Manager, seeks to support positive workplace mental health. Mindful Employer Canada accomplishes this through its Charter for Canadian Employers Supporting Positive Workplace Mental Health, while Mindful Manager provides support and resources to those who are on the frontlines managing or working with employees with mental health concerns.

Where our story began

Our initial focus was to attract employers who wanted to publicly state their support for positive workplace mental health by signing the Mindful Employer Canada charter. These early signatories provided invaluable feedback of the demands they were receiving from their managers, union representatives and other professionals who wanted a just-in-time community of practice to help them support employees with mental health issues. This resulted in the development of Mindful Manager, which operates as a separate online community of practice.

Next came the concept of organizing Mindful Manager chapters that will meet independently, discuss topics, and share concerns, successes and frustrations. The intention is for each chapter to have their own chapter lead who will be located in an organization, association or region. Mindful Manager will provide materials to support up to three chapter sessions each quarter.

Mary Ann Baynton will be personally providing mentorship and support to the volunteer chapter leads who will in turn provide valuable input and resources back into the broader Mindful Manager Community.

Today we have three pilot chapters operating in cities across Canada. The chapter leads come from different backgrounds but share a passion for supporting positive workplace mental health.

If you are interested in leading a chapter, contact

What it means to us

The effort to create the Mindful Manager Community has been intense – late nights, many revisions, wanting the resources to be the most practical and interactive – but it has been born of a passion to make a difference. This passion has fueled our work and outcomes and will continue to help expand our ability to support positive workplace mental health and the leaders of tomorrow.

What’s next?

We had excellent participation in our live webinars in 2014 yet many people were disappointed that they weren’t able attend all of the sessions. We will soon have recordings of some past sessions available for purchase and will continue to host a few live sessions every year. The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace has provided support to enable us to create these lasting recordings.

We are also working towards the next set of chapter materials. The topic is Complex Accommodations. This would include accommodation where there is the possibility of psychosis, relapse, aggression, or outbursts.

This is part of our ongoing path of continual improvement for both Mindful Employer Canada and the Mindful Manager Community. We encourage you to join us as we grow and make this initiative our legacy to workplaces everywhere.

This would be an excellent time to apply to Mindful Manager and join our community in supporting positive workplace mental health.