Workplace Mental Health Innovation

Are you tired of boring lunch and learn presentations? Especially when it comes to workplace health?

That’s what people continue to tell us, and that’s why we created a platform and engagement model that uses personal storytelling, real-life examples, and communication activities to bring relevant learning opportunities to our clients. Our speakers and facilitators have worked and trained in the older models and that’s what inspired us to innovate and create what we believe is more effective.

The ‘Starts With Me‘ approach

A personal, family, and relationship perspective from people who’ve been there. We provide real-life examples of what mental health, illness, addiction, recovery, and well-being mean and how they apply to people’s lives. Whether or not you have a mental health problem, it’s essential to cultivate well-being and resilience to flourish through the ebbs and flows of life.
The competition
Reading scripts, case-studies, statistics, information heavy, delivered through the lens of the service provider or mental health care organization.

“The theory is that if I tell you a story about how to survive, you’ll be more likely to actually survive than if I just give you facts. For instance, if I were to say, “There’s an animal near that tree, so don’t go over there,” it would not be as effective as if I were to tell you, “My cousin was eaten by a malicious, scary creature that lurks around that tree, so don’t go over there.” A narrative works off of both data and emotions, which is significantly more effective in engaging a listener than data alone. ATLANTIC –  ‘The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling’ Cody C. Delistraty
Most workplace mental health initiatives don’t leverage this evolutionary process to engage their employees. The status quo focuses on information, data, and case studies as the method for instruction. This approach has utility, but we think it misses the mark and is void of a deeper meaning that humans crave.

Stories can be a way for humans to feel that we have control over the world. They allow people to see patterns where there is chaos, meaning where there is randomness.” ATLANTIC –  The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling’ Cody C. Delistraty

Once we’ve set the stage for why the content is relatable to our audience, we explore what it means and what it looks like in people’s lives. We demystify the concepts and make it relevant. What we deliver is meaningful and useful whether or not you have direct experience with mental health issues. We differentiate mental health from mental illness; we look into addiction and behavioural problems and how much that can vary from person to person or culture to culture.

From there, we explore practices that enhance resilience, promote a sense of compassion, that offer insight into better colleagues and how to engage with those we have difficulty with or whose views we don’t share. Everyone has mental health. A healthy workplace improves productivity, reduces mental health-related disability claims and makes for happier employees. We help employees to look for the similarities amongst each other rather than the differences.
Our stories and struggles are similar across cultures.  Read this article from TED Ideas on the subject. How Stories are Told Around the World
There is a lot of evidence that suggests employees who feel wanted and cared for by their employers are better employees! What a concept!! Two articles from Forbes on the subject. Productivity & Employee Happiness Happiness and Productivity

The statistics for workplace mental health are hugely problematic for our economy, the profits of corporations, and the efficiency of our government institutions.

77% of Canadians would not feel comfortable talking about mental health issues at their workplace. CMA

62% of ‘extremely stressed’ Canadian workers identified work as their main source of stress. CMA

Mental health problems are rated one of the top causes of disability claims by over 80% of Canadian employers. MHCC

Mental illness contributes to $51 billion in economic costs each year. CMA

If you’re in HR or if you’re connected to workplace engagement around this topic, we invite you to consider how this approach would be more impactful for your employees. 

We acknowledge the comfort that comes with working with the old reliable dogs in workplace mental health. What we don’t accept is the methods they use because we believe they’re inadequate and not what people want. If you want to help reduce the rising epidemic of mental health issues from plaguing your workplace, we think you should speak to us.
Take the Starts With Me pledge and ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ – Gandhi 


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