|By Breigh Radford,
Director, Human Resources at Eagle
It’s about time we started talking about Mental Health, not just in the workplace but everywhere — at schools, at the dinner table — we need to make it a part of our everyday vernacular. Why? Why now? Is it just another buzz word? Hardly.
Mental Health is what it implies: health for the mind. There are too many examples of workplace violence where the root cause, given by officials, is the mental health of the perpetrator. How many examples have to be given before we take action? How many people have to suffer in silence before being heard? How many generations have to go through the pain of stigma? The solution begins with a conversation. Why wouldn’t you want to talk about it… heck, we talk about everything else!
One of the ways we talk about mental health is through our social involvement and sharing our stories. At Eagle, we encourage a community approach to promote all health. We partner with a national gym to give staff a membership discount, therefore, boosting physical well-being. This in turn helps deal with anxiety and depression; it also gets employees involved in another social circle, helping reduce feelings of isolation. We encourage discussions through workshops, have information posted on the company intranet and send the team regular emails on the topic. I myself attended a Mental Health First Aid workshop in order to provide immediate support for anyone who is in crisis. This all helps create an environment where mental health can be spoken about freely and without stigma. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
There are lots of initiatives to help generate discussion on this subject, with more and more people speaking up and getting involved. How can you help? Get educated about mental health! Listen to people in a non-judgemental way; let them talk freely and comfortably about problems. Help the person feel hope and optimism; it is after all, a real medical condition. Encourage them to seek help and guidance; there are a ton of effective treatments out there.
Today, January 25th is Bell Let’s Talk Day, where every time you talk, text and join in on social media, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives. The goal is to open discussion about mental illness and offer new ideas and hope for those who struggle. In addition, the first week in May is National Mental Health Week. What happens the rest of the year is up to you. How will you join the conversation and help end the stigma on Mental Health?