Starting the conversation around mental health

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Despite disability management programs, EAPs and other employee supports, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia was still seeing the number of mental health claims increase.
Like many organizations they were tracking the increase, but didn’t always know what to do about it, according to director of talent acquisition & consulting & employee wellness Leslie Mitton.
Mitton and her colleagues found that when employees went on mental health related leave, their managers would almost always mention that they had seen some signs that something was wrong, or had noticed a change in behaviour.  What if they could encourage managers to be proactive about those signs, instead of reactive?
It’s something more and more organizations are struggling with as mental health claims and diagnoses increase. The stigma of mental health is slowly decreasing, but it’s still not an easy conversation to start.
“The biggest mistake employers can make is ignoring issues and not having processes in place,” occupational health and safety consultant Ian Arnold said, adding that while some organizations, such as Bell Canada, had leadership buy in right from the start, others needed an individual to lead the charge and win executive response.
One of the steps ICBC took was to join the Not Myself Today campaign led by Partners for Mental Health, which provides resources and tools for organizations to engage employees around mental health in the workplace.

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