Workplace Mental Health
For mental health awareness week, I want to highlight an amazing company with an inspiring story. I often say, there is too much lip-service regarding mental health advocacy and to bring about change, we must shut our mouths and lead by example, because when we do, amazing things happen.
“Companies have to be innovative in leading with values the same way they have to be innovative in their products and services” John Gerzema
Last week, I had the honour of speaking to employees at the Ian Martin Group. When contacted by the community manager Kate Masson, it was clear they valued their employee relationships.
When delivering workplace mental health talks, presentations, and workshops, I’m asked to share my story along with a general outline of what mental health, illness, addiction, and recovery mean and what they look like in people’s lives.
In working with the Ian Martin Group, it would be a little different. The CEO Tim and an employee Carla shared the story of how they connected over a conversation about mental health. It was an inspiring story, one we rarely hear, and one that is living proof of advocacy and action.
Carla highlighted the value in speaking honestly about your situation. This doesn’t always mean everyone would benefit from a company-wide discourse on their experience, but it worked for her and is a beautiful story of compassion in action. If you aren’t comfortable speaking openly as Carla did, it is important to contact support. If you don’t think it’s safe through HR, then start by seeking support outside of your workplace.
Our business continues to grow and our client base diversifies. The places change, but the reality of being a human stays the same. Learning to speak openly and honestly about your situation is profoundly powerful.
I hope to come across more scenarios like this one as it shows the effectiveness of campaigns like #BellLetsTalk. Yes, they can be a little dry or marketing oriented, but the benefits are immense and it would be helpful if we paid gratitude to previous work that has helped advance the mental health movement.
I believe the best approach is to focus on solutions, not problems. To do this, we must embrace personal responsibility for our situation. This creates a space that allows us to hold each other accountable without the finger-pointing, reducing the bumps in the road and supporting positive outcomes.
Please get in touch with us and let us know your thoughts, comments, ideas, or share an inspiring story.
To find out more about our workplace programs please visit https://startswithme.ca/workplace