Leaders can help drive down stigma and empower employees at risk to get help early.
A mentally safe workplace will empower and enable employees to do their best. Leaders play an important role in creating these conditions.
Some initial steps to take action:
- Make an all staff announcement on your commitment to workplace mental health. Show a genuine commitment. The message should come from the senior leadership sponsor and the champion.
- Put mental health on the agenda using special events to create focus. For example, Psychology Month, Bell Let’s Talk, World Mental Health Day. Encourage open discussion about mental health.
- Set performance measures for leaders around the mental health and
well-being of their teams.
Language around mental health
Using safe, respectful and inclusive language is key to fostering a healthy and safe workplace culture. It’s also important to be consistent. This language goes a long way to addressing stigma. It lets employees know that it’s normal to experience mental health challenges from time to time.
We know that stigma is a powerful barrier to getting help. 60% of people with a mental health problem or illness won’t seek help because of their fear of being labeled. 52% of those with a mental health disability consider themselves disadvantaged in employment.3